Body of autistic boy, 4, found in South Carolina pond

The family of missing Jayden Morrison, from left, his grandmother, Carolyn Sumpter, father, Andre Morrisob and mother Tabatha Morrisob look on in Little River, S.C., on Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014. Hundreds of emergency workers and volunteers searched through Christmas Day for a 4-year-old autistic child who disappeared from his grandmother's house near a town on the South Carolina coast. (AP Photo/The Sun News, Charles Slate)

LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (AP) — The body of an autistic, 4-year-old boy who had been missing since Christmas Eve has been found in a pond in South Carolina.

Coroner Robert Edge told local media outlets that the body of Jayden Morrison was found late Friday morning in Little River, northeast of Myrtle Beach.

Police, first responders, K-9 units, dive teams and volunteers had been searching for the boy since he disappeared from his grandmother’s house around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The New York boy’s family had been visiting his grandmother. His mother, Tabatha Morrison, had gone shopping and left her three children at the home.

Jayden’s grandmother, Carolyn Sumpter, said minutes later, she noticed the front door was ajar and began the search.

“We’ve always been in a gated situation,” Jayden’s father, Andre Morrison, told reporters said Thursday afternoon after he arrived from New York. “We knew he was a wanderer when he was younger, but he was always in an enclosement. We never put him in a position to go out and freely wander.”

More than 150 volunteers had taken part in the search Friday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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