Tragic end to search for missing 4-year-old boy with autism
SHEFFIELD LAKE, Oh. (Fox 8) -– Sheffield Lake Mayor Dennis Bring has confirmed to Fox 8 that 4-year-old Sidney Heidrick did not survive after walking away from his grandparents' Sheffield Lake home Friday afternoon.
"When you have a young child pass away, it is very disheartening," said Bring.
Bring confirmed that Sidney was found in Lake Erie, very close to the spot where he was last seen at 4:30p.m. Friday afternoon.
"The young boy Sidney we were looking for, he was found in the water by divers and it appears to be an obvious drowning," said Sheffield Lake Police Chief, Tony Campo.
Authorities tell Fox 8 the boy was found in Lake Erie, about a quarter of a mile, east of his grandparents house, Saturday. There is a makeshift memorial already started in Sidney's name, with balloons and stuffed animals.
The Heidrick family has released a statement earlier on Saturday thanking everyone for their efforts in helping to locate Sidney.
Hundreds of first responders and community volunteers joined the search for the boy. Because he has autism, people were told that he might not respond when they called out his name, so for some time they were playing Sidney's favorite song, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" as they looked for him.
"It's about a mile from my house so I thought' hey all my friends are coming down here to help' so I thought, why wouldn't I do it," said Rona Proudfoot, who came to volunteer.
Thomas Presser is from Lorain and came to volunteer in the search.
"I walked through water, went through woods and I found out they found him right there, I've got kids his age and it just really hurts."