GOLDEN GATE, Fla. — A devastating answer for one family and neighborhood in Golden Gate. Just north of I-75 and near the Paradise Coast Sports Complex, a death investigation is underway.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office confirmed, after more than two hours of searching for a missing boy, 8-year-old Samuel Millien, a deputy found his body in a canal close to his home.
Investigators say the boy lived with autism and was nonverbal. His family reported him as missing around 12:20 P.M., about ten minutes after the family could not find him.
The search included drones and aircraft to try and find Samuel. The Sheriff's Office was already familiar with the boy because he was a member of the Community Assistance Resource and Education (C.A.R.E.) program, which they say assisted with the search.
Fox 4's Bella Line spoke with a neighbor who says she was unaware a child was missing in the area.
“I can’t imagine losing an 8-year-old child," said Debbie Green, neighbor. "No parent should have to go through that.”
The Collier County Sheriff's Office tells Fox 4 the death does not appear to be suspicious at this time.
Fox 4 will keep you up to date as the investigation unfolds.