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Parents of missing boy with special needs arrested after body is found

Thaddeus Sran was reported missing by his parents on July 15.

The parents of a missing 2-year-old boy with special needs were arrested Friday morning after police in California found the remains of a toddler.

Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson said at a news conference Friday afternoon that the parents of Thaddeus Sran were taken into custody just after 7 a.m. on suspicion of murder. The announcement came hours after police said they found the remains of a child 2 to 3 years old on farmland outside the city.

Lawson said the child is thought to be Thaddeus, but an autopsy is being conducted to determine the identity. He said the remains had been burned.

"We will continue to work this case, but as of right now there's some justice for little Thaddeus," Lawson said.

The child was reported missing by his parents from their home in Madera, about 23 miles from Fresno, on the morning of July 15, police said in a Facebook post.

Thadeus Sran
Thadeus Sran.Madera Police Department

Police said that Thaddeus has "severe health issues" and was born prematurely. He uses a feeding tube, is nonverbal and was just learning to walk, but crawls to get around.

Authorities said at a news conference last week that the parents said they put Thaddeus to bed around 10 p.m. and when they woke up around 8:30 a.m. he was gone. At the time, Lawson said the parents were cooperating with the search for the boy.

But in a Facebook update Tuesday, police said the parents were no longer cooperating. Roger Nuttall, an attorney for the parents, released a two-page statement beforepolice announced that a body was found.

In it, Nuttall denied that his clients, Briseida Sran and Sukhjinder Sran, refused to cooperate with the police investigation.

"This particular allegation is extremely troublesome to Mr. and Mrs. Sran, as well as to their extended family," the statement, obtained by NBC News, read.

Nuttall said they immediately cooperated with law enforcement, and he accused detectives of becoming "accusatory in their questioning."

Madera Police Lt. Josiah Arnold told NBC News on Wednesday that the boy's parents had an infant daughter who died in 2015. He said he could not provide further details, but said the death was investigated and the case is still open.