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Missing 4-year-old autistic boy found dead in quarry pit in Franklin Township

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FRANKLIN TWP, Ohio - A 4-year-old autistic boy who was reported missing Monday was found dead in a Warren County quarry pit.

Police say Jonah Smith was reported missing around 1 p.m. 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.

Yvonna Patrick, who lives a few doors down from the boy's family, said she watched as police filled her street Monday afternoon.

"My mind doesn't even want to go there because I've got a grandbaby and I can't imagine this, can't imagine, it just breaks my heart," said Patrick.

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," Patrick 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 have not released any further information.

There are no charges pending at this time.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for the latest information on this story as it becomes available.


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