FRANKLIN TWP, Ohio - The cause of death for a 4-year-old autistic boy who was found dead in a Warren County quarry pit has been ruled as an accidental drowning.
Police say Jonah Smith was reported missing around 1 p.m. Monday by his father and was found by the Warren County Sheriff's Office around 2:25 p.m. floating in a pond in a quarry pit about 100 yards from his Franklin Township home on Cam Drive. He was pronounced deceased and his body was taken to the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab for an autopsy.
The Warren County coroner ruled the cause of the boy's death to be accidental drowning and that there were no signs of trauma.
Neighbors told 9 News the quarry pit was once used for mining, but is now used as a private fishing area.
"Now that they've got houses down there, and they advertise it as a fishing place, I think it should be blocked off somewhere. As parents, you do the best you can," Yvonna Patrick, who lives in the area, said. "You can look and be right with them, then the next thing you know, maybe they fell in the pool or fell off something."
The boy lived with his father at the home he went missing from. Officials say the child's mother does not live at the residence.
Police are still investigating the circumstances of the boy's death, and the coroner says the drowning ruling likely won't change, but is still waiting on tests such as toxicology reports to completely confirm it.
There are no charges pending at this time.
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