Police sources say the missing 9-year-old boy had autism and was non-verbal.
Thursday, August 17, 2023 9:02AM
RED HOOK, Brooklyn (WABC) — A 9-year-old boy has died after he fell into the water behind a Brooklyn IKEA store.
Officials say this appears to be a tragic accident. The child was last seen on surveillance video toward the water just behind the store in Red Hook.
Police say the child went missing at 8:58 p.m., just two minutes before the IKEA closed for the day. The young boy had been inside the store with his family.
Just hours later, his body was recovered from the water.
Authorities say the child had autism and was non-verbal. Eyewitness News arrived at the scene Wednesday evening as first responders desperately searched the water.
Drones, divers, K9s, and officers were all working to find the child. They were initally able to find the orange crocs he was wearing, officials said.
The search came to an end three hours after he went missing, just after midnight.
Authorities say his body was found unresponsive on the water’s edge of the Erie Basin. He was taken to the hospital and was pronounced dead shortly after.
“I have kids and I have grandkids of my own. It’s heartbreaking. And I’ve never seen anything like this. You hear about this on TV, but this is heart-wrenching,” one eyewitness said.
Police have not released the name of the 9-year-old.
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