Young boy with autism drowns in south Tampa pond

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Check for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published May 30 2018
Updated May 30 2018

4-year-old boy drowns in
pond in tampa

TAMPA ó A 4-year-old child with autism drowned in a pond Wednesday afternoon after leaving his house while his mother was napping, according to Tampa police.

While April Sikes, 40, was sleeping in her apartment at 6727 S Lois Ave. Her son, David, was able to unlock a door and get outside, said police spokesman Eddy Durkin.

The mother searched for the child for about 20 minutes and, after failing to find him, called 911 shortly after 2:30 p.m., Durkins said.

Officers found the child in a pond near the residence just before 3 p.m. Their efforts to revive the child at the scene failed, Durkins said.

"Itís a tragedy," Durkins said. "No one wants to go through this. Itís just an awful day for this family."

The gated apartment complex, Clipper Bay, is made up of a dozen buildings that surround a retention pond. A resident, 19-year-old Cristian Perez, said the apartmentís pool has a fence around it, but the much larger pond does not.

Since 2015, at least three autistic children have drowned in the Tampa Bay area.