Mo. autistic boy’s drowning another tragedy for family

COLONY, Mo. (AP) — A tiny northeast Missouri town is grieving once again after a 6-year-old autistic boy was found dead in a pond, just months after his twin brother also drowned.

The Quincy Herald-Whig (http://bit.ly/Hl3dCz ) reports that Christian Riley Baucom of Colony was reported missing Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, Missouri State Highway Patrol divers found his body after a small pond was drained.

Christian’s brother drowned in a different pond in August. The two boys were living with a Mennonite family because their mother is in prison. Christian did not live in the home by the pond where his body was found, but was cared for by several different sisters of a Mennonite family.

An investigation continues but authorities believe the drowning was an accident.

Patrol Lt. Nelson Elfrink said relatives told investigators that Christian had a fascination with hogs, and a hog pen is near the pond.

Hundreds of people — including many from the Mennonite community — converged on the town of about 170 residents, some on horseback. A patrol helicopter and airplane took part in the search.

Colony Baptist Church pastor Rex Link said the result of the search was sad if not completely unexpected.

“It’s a very tragic thing,” he said.

Just before noon Wednesday, the patrol brought in a backhoe to dig up a levee to drain the pond. Divers walked arm-in-arm through muck up to their waists and found the child’s body.

Colony, in Knox County, is about 180 miles north of St. Louis.

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Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, http://www.whig.com

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