Missing toddler found dead in septic tank after he fell through rotting floor

A massive police hunt for a missing one-year-old has been called off after the boy’s remains were found in a septic tank behind his family’s home in Jacksonville, Florida.

Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach told reporters on Monday evening that deputies had discovered Jose Lara’s body.

“It’s my unfortunate task today to tell you that the search for Jose Lara has ended with the recovery of Jose’s body,” he said.

The toddler had apparently tried to walk across a sheet of plywood covering the septic tank when it gave way and he fell into it.

“Underneath the layer of dirt, there was a piece of plywood that had been there for some time and appeared it had rotted to the extent so that when he stepped on it, he actually fell in,” Sheriff DeLoach said.

“It’s not an uncommon practice in a situation like this when there’s a child missing to search the septic tank as well,” the Sheriff added.

“Actually one of our leadership team members…made the call to drain the septic tank. At that point it was unfortunately when we discovered the child’s body.”

He said that there was no evidence of foul play, but added that the discovery “was certainly the worst possible case scenario, in terms of outcome".

Jose had last been seen playing near his family’s home with his sister. The children’s mother is understood to have been inside the house with her other child when Jose went missing.

On Facebook, a spokesperson from Putnam County Sheriff's Office wrote: “Please keep the family of Jose Lara in your prayers as they grieve the loss of their son.

“Sheriff De Loach personally briefed search and rescue teams prior to notifying the public.

'Please keep them in your prayers as this was not the outcome we hoped for. Jose's body was recovered from a septic tank earlier today.

“While the investigation is ongoing it is believed this was a tragic accident and Jose fell into the tank”

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