WATERTOWN TWP, Mich. (WLNS) – Police announced that the body of Jermain Jones was located in the Looking Glass River shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday.
It was the tragic end in a desperate search that began shortly after 2 p.m. Monday in the rural area of Clinton County known as Wacousta, near Grand Ledge.
The child was found in a part of the river near where the boy was seen by a neighbor Monday, authorities say.
On Tuesday, 500 people showed up to assist law enforcement in a second day of searching for Jones. They joined law enforcement from agencies across the state. Some of those agencies searched from helicopters or horseback, while professional dive teams walked and searched the river.
“I was really impressed,” relative Brook’l Miller said of the turnout. “It was amazing to see everyone coming together so quick. I wasn’t expecting to pull up to that as soon I got the call.”
Clinton County Sheriff Sean Dush says deputies responded to the home on S. Bauer Rd. near Clark Rd. Monday. Jermain was known to have special needs and was non-verbal. Witnesses placed him “quite a distance away” from his home.
“One of the people saw the child in the yard, north of his home, probably a quarter of a mile from his home,” Dush says. “And another one came forward and saw the child just northeast of there.”
Dive teams from multiple departments searched ditches, ponds and the river looking for the missing child. Members of the Oakland County Sheriff Department’s dive team were seen leaving a section of the Looking Glass River that runs through farmland and is several homes away from Jones’ home.
Dusch says the discovery was crushing to the hope of police and volunteers.
“We know the longer the time goes, the less likely that will be,” he says of the recovery of a missing, vulnerable person. “We were hoping til we found out otherwise. We were hoping he would be found alive, but unfortunately, that was not the case.”
The child’s mother was escorted, while in tears, to a waiting ambulance following the delivery of the news of her child’s death. While foul play is not suspected, Dush says the medical examiner would conduct an autopsy.