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Missing 5-year-old autistic boy in Michigan found dead in pond

Hundreds of volunteers searched for the boy, who went missing Christmas Day.

A 5-year-old autistic boy who went missing on Christmas Day in Michigan was found dead Thursday, according to police.

Beau Belson
Beau Belson.Montcalm County Central Dispatch

Beau Belson's body was found at about noon under ice in a pond close to the house he disappeared from near Six Lakes, according to Michigan State Police. His body was recovered by the Michigan State Police Marine Services Team.

The boy, who could communicate, was last seen playing in his grandmother's backyard with his family Wednesday afternoon, according to the Montcalm County Central Dispatch center. When the family went inside, they realized the boy was gone, NBC affiliate WOOD reported.

More than 1,000 volunteers scoured the area surrounding the home on Christmas Day, and professional search crews searched overnight with helicopters and a drone. Hundreds of volunteers were back out at daybreak Thursday.

Michigan State Police Lt. David Cope said the boy's death was under investigation, but there was not an immediate indication that anything suspicious had happened.