Casualties, Drowning

Missing boy with autism found dead in Plant City pond

PUBLISHED MAY 31, 2015 @5:17 PM

Deputies have located the body of a missing 5-year-old autistic boy in a Plant City pond.

Michael Bolden went missing Sunday morning at a farmer’s market located near Highway 39 and Sam Allen Road in Plant City. His body was found later in the afternoon in the dark, murky pond, which is not protected by fences and is located in the middle of the market.
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said it appears as though Michael’s death was an accident, and that he was not being properly supervised.
“Right now we’re in recovery mode of this operation, and we’ll be conducting an investigation as to how the child got in the water, but it appears it was probably an accident, and the child was not being properly supervised,” he said.
Officials said Michael’s father, who is in his 60s, and another adult had driven to the market from Polk County. His father last saw Michael at 9 a.m. Deputies said the father searched for the boy for nearly an hour before calling the sheriff’s office.

Gee said the father doesn’t remember what happened to Michael after they arrived.

“The child was out of the truck, and he must have been attracted to the water, probably went in to the water a short time after because we were not able to locate any witnesses who saw the child around this morning,” Gee said.
Gee said about 400 people were at the market when Michael disappeared, but apparently no one saw him go into the water.
It’s unclear whether any charges will be filed in this case.

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