AURORA, Colo. — The body believed to be of a 6-year-old boy who went missing on New Year’s Eve was found in a park pond on Tuesday morning, not far from where he disappeared, the Aurora Police Department said.
Dive crews began checking the pond at Olympic Park at East Yale Avenue and South Chambers Road on the fourth day of searching for 6-year-old boy David Puckett, who was last seen at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at his home in the 15700 block of East Amherst Place.
Crews found the body just before 10 a.m., and the park and Yale Avenue were shut down.
Police chief Nick Metz said no positive identification of the body has been made, but David’s family has been informed.
The area around the pond is being treated as a crime scene, but there are no indications to believe it’s anything but an accident, Metz said.
Metz said more than 150 personnel from numerous law enforcement agencies and more than 200 volunteers helped search for the boy.
“I have the very unfortunate news of letting you know that in a pond … that we found the body of what appears to be a child inside the pond underneath the ice,” Metz said at a news conference. “At this time, we cannot give a positive indication on the child. However, because of this information and our suspicion, I had the unfortunate experience of having to inform David’s family of what we had found.”
Metz said it will take some time to produce a positive identification. Metz said a thorough investigation will be conducted to determine what happened.
“Although we don’t have a positive identification, the family is devastated,” Metz said.
Bloodhounds were brought in early in the investigation, but a speciality dog was brought in Monday night and it gave indications around the pond. Firefighters went into the water Tuesday morning and found the body, Metz said.
He added the area was heavily searched since Saturday, but there were no indications of broken ice.
“Even the family members said they had gone around it and didn’t see anything,” Metz said.
A $10,000 reward was offered for locating David. The search ramped up Monday after an Amber Alert was issued by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Vehicles leaving the south Aurora neighborhood at the center of the search near Olympic Park were stopped at checkpoints, while bloodhounds were working and federal agents canvassed the area.
A command center was set up at David’s school, Dartmouth Elementary. On Tuesday morning, officers and FBI agents were stopping vehicles in front of the school, looking in trunks and asking if anyone has seen the boy.
Staff returned to Dartmouth Elementary on Tuesday from winter break and students will return Wednesday. Grief counselors will be provided to anyone at the school, Aurora Public Schools said.