Body of 5-year-old Lucian Munguia found in Yakima River

A missing 5-year-old boy with autism has been found dead in a river in Washington state after he went missing in September, authorities said.

The body of Lucian Munguia was discovered Thursday by a resident walking his dog near the Yakima River, the Yakima Police Department said.

An autopsy performed on Friday determined the remains belonged to the non-verbal boy, who was last seen at Sarg Hubbard Park in Yakima on September 10.

After a comparison of dental records, police investigators and the county coroner’s office have confirmed that the remains are those of the 5-year-old.

Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice said Friday the boy was accidentally drowned in the river and there was no evidence of foul play.

Police also said they do not believe any foul play led to the boy’s death. They will provide further details once DNA testing is complete.

The boy’s family reported him missing 15 minutes after they began looking for him in the park.
Getty Images

Following Lucian’s disappearance on September 10, the community had rallied to try to find the boy, whose family reported him missing to authorities 15 minutes after they began looking for him, sparking a massive search effort, reported the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Yakima Deputy Fire Chief DJ Goldsmith, who assisted in the search effort, said the nearly four-month-long search for Lucian was not anomalous given the nature of the river.

“Even though we’re 100% trying to locate things, including using infrared drones, there are so many tributaries and multiple places where things can get stuck,” Goldsmith said.

Authorities have not explained how his family lost track of him. Search and rescue teams from several nearby counties searched the park, river and surrounding area for the boy.

The body of Lucian Munguia was discovered Thursday by a resident who was walking his dog near the Yakima River.
Family document

An FBI dive team conducted an extensive search of the park’s pond and other nearby bodies of water. Even after authorities reduced their search efforts, volunteers and Lucian’s family continued to search for the boy.

Throughout the search, a $10,000 reward was offered for information to find Lucian.

Authorities have offered $10,000 to anyone with information about the boy’s disappearance.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police have offered their condolences to the boy’s relatives following the tragic discovery.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Lucian’s family and friends,” police said.

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