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Missing boy found dead in retention pond near home

The body of an 8-year-old autistic boy was found floating facedown in a retaining pond less than 100 yards from his home Friday, a day after police launched a massive search for him.

Jared McGuire's mother told authorities she last saw him sleeping on a couch at home Thursday afternoon. After she reported him missing, police scoured the area with officers, dogs and a helicopter to no avail. Authorities think the body may have sank and later resurfaced.

Deputy Ray Griffith of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was searching the perimeter of several ponds near the boy's home Friday, preparing for a dive team to go into the water, when he saw the body.

"I walked into the water up to my knees, reached down and I grabbed the little boy and pulled him from the water and covered him with a blanket," Griffith said.

The cause of death wasn't known, pending an autopsy. There were no obvious signs of trauma and the boy was fully clothed, Greenacres police Lt. Michael Porath said.

Fliers with the boy's picture had been circulated throughout the neighborhood of two-story apartment buildings.

Police issued an Amber Alert after someone reported seeing a child matching Jared's description being forced into a white van. It remained unclear whether that person was mistaken.

Because the boy was found so close to home, it appears less likely he was abducted, Porath said.