KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – An 11-hour search for a missing 6-year-old boy with autism ended early Monday morning when a dive team pulled his body out of a pond near the family’s home in Kaufman County. Dalton Robison was found at about 2:00 a.m. by crews brought in to search the pond.
It was the ending that many people feared, including rescuers and volunteers.
Robison went missing at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, and teams had been working since then to find the boy. An intense search was launched on the ground and in the air. That included help from surrounding 10 fire departments, eight police departments, K-9 units, the Texas Game Warden and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Many volunteers also pulled together. Groups of 20 people went door-to-door asking residents for possible information. It is a rural area, but a close-knit communtiy. The Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office said that this was possibly the largest search effort they had ever organized.
“He’s autistic. He’s mute. If you see him, look for a firefighter or law enforcement. He’s going to run. He likes to climb. He likes to hide,” an official told search volunteers. In fact, this was not the first time that Robison had wandered away. His family keeps the doors locked, but the boy found a hidden key that allowed him to run off.
It was a firefighter who found Robison’s body in a pond behind a next-door neighbor’s home along Cottonwood Lane. “It was a good search. We had a lot of houses, a lot of cars, a wrecker yard across the street. It was a lot of work, but we had a lot of great people helping out,” said Kaufman County Sheriff Bryan Beavers.
Deputies said that there is no reason to believe that anyone harmed Robison, but that part is still under investigation. “Any time we have a death, we want to be suspicious until we find out otherwise,” Beavers added. “At this point, we don’t suspect foul play.”