Early in the evening of April 22, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office was notified of a child missing from a residence on Poole’s Bluff Road. Investigators and patrol officers responded to the scene immediately and learned that a two year old male had wandered away from the residence and could not be located.
Officers began an immediate search of the surrounding area, including trails leading into the swamp and to the backwaters of the Pearl River. After following one trail into the swamp, a Washington Parish investigator discovered the child’s body face down in the water. The child was retrieved from the water and resuscitation efforts were begun. Unfortunately, the child could not be saved.
The Department of Children and Family Services was notified and arrived at the scene to interview the child’s mother, grandmother and other children who were at the residence.
The family was in the process of relocating from Arkansas to Washington Parish after a brief stay in St. Tammany Parish. At the time of the child’s death, the mother was returning from St. Tammany Parish with personal belongings. The child’s grandmother was at the residence with four children, one of whom was the victim.
An autopsy will be performed.
Sheriff Randy Seal was grieved to learn of the child’s death. “As a father and grandfather, I am grieved to learn of the death of this innocent child. I ask all residents of Washington Parish to join me in praying for peace and grace for this family. As always, our officers responded promptly in hopes of being able to locate a missing child. Unfortunately, in this case, the search turned into a recovery. It is never easy for any officer to discover and recover the body of a child. We must always lift our officers in prayer as they perform their daily tasks, never knowing what might lie ahead.”