BREAKING: Beach Visitor Discovers Body of Deceased 8-Year-Old
By WKRG Staff
PERDIDO KEY, Florida -
Authorities with the Escambia County Florida Sheriff's Office said at a press conference Sunday afternoon that they have recovered the body of 8-year-old Owen Black, who went missing Friday evening near Perdido Key.
Volunteers who aided in the search cried as deputies confirmed the news nobody wanted to believe.
Deputies say the little boy, who was severely autistic, was discovered about half-a-mile from where he went missing. They believe he got trapped in the undertow and washed up on the beach sometime Sunday.
A beach visitor saw his body on the Gulf side of Perdido Key and called authorities. Black was wearing the same clothes (red and blue striped shirt and brown sweatpants), and they were able to identify him fairly quickly.
Owen Black was last seen at Needle Rush Condos off Perdido Key Friday afternoon. His family was in town on vacation from Louisiana. Authorities believe family members may have been sleeping when the boy snuck out of the house. A neighbor confirms seeing him leave.
Authorities say Owen Black was autistic, and was often drawn to the water and construction sites. They say most of the time he would not speak.
Dozens of citizens spent the weekend searching alongside sheriffs deputies and several other groups, including the Florida Marine Patrol, the U.S Navy, The Coast Guard, and Klaas Kids.
An autopsy will be performed in the next few days, and his family has said they may speak publicly after that.
News 5 has a crew on scene and will bring you the latest information in our upcoming newscasts.