AKRON, Ohio - Akron police and fire officials confirm they have found the body Sunday of what is believed to be the missing Akron boy who fell into Mud Brook creek.
Police released a statement Sunday:
After three days of extensive searching the Akron fire department water rescue team along with the assistance of the Cuyahoga Falls water rescue team found what we believe to be the remains of Nicholas Shaffer in Mud Brook Sunday morning at 11:21 a.m.
We would like to thank everyone who helped in the search.
Shaffer went missing Thursday after falling off of a wall and into the creek while sitting with his mother.
Several good Samaritans jumped in to try and locate him but they were unable to find him.
One of those good Samaritans, Kameron Williams, said Sunday, "It's just sad to hear that he's gone. I wish it would've turned out different. I hope the family's okay."
Mark Farrar also said Sunday, "It's a tragic situation and, you know, my heart goes out to the family."
But just as unfortunate, added Farrar, is if those with autistic family members ignore this tragedy.
Farrar is a Sergeant with the Akron Police Department who teaches first responders how to work with autistic children. He's also a member of the Autism Society of Ohio, but speaking to NewsChannel5 as a parent of an autistic child, he said Sunday, "…unfortunately, this type of thing happens all too common because this, children with autism are often drawn to water and the problem is they don't recognize the danger that's recognized with that."
Farrar told NewsChannel 5, "Children with autism, they have a brain imbalance and they respond to different senses different than typical children do. So often times, is sudden behavior that we as parents might not be able to anticipate because we don't know what they're thinking."
Authorities are now working to determine 12-year-old Nicholas' cause of death.
Fire officials tell NewsChannel5 that the last time someone drowned in a similar area, it took four weeks to located the body.