Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Adam Roach, 6, was found dead in a retention pond less than 50 feet away from his back door.
"It is with very heavy hearts that we report Adam Roach was found deceased in a retention pond directly behind his home this evening around 10:40 p.m. by the PCSO dive team, assisted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)," said Judd.
A solemn Judd told ABC Action News this was not the outcome anyone wanted.
"The family is devastated," Judd said.
According to Judd, the 6-year-old walked away from his home at the Carlton Arms apartments on Shepherd Road in south Lakeland around 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. In a initial press conference, he said Adam was non-verbal and hard of hearing.
A mobile command center was set up to help coordinate the search with canine teams, boats, dive team, helicopter, and every available deputy from all 5 of our districts on-scene.
PCSO stated they will now conduct a death investigation.