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

Hundreds of volunteers searched for the boy, who went missing on Christmas Day.
Beau Belson was found dead Thursday after going missing a day earlier, on Christmas Day.
Beau Belson was found dead Thursday after going missing a day earlier, on Christmas Day.Montcalm County Central Dispatch
/ Source: NBC News

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

Beau Belson's body was found under ice in a pond close to his grandmother's house near Six Lakes, according to Michigan State Police, NBC affiliate WOOD reported.

The boy, who had autism but could communicate, was last seen playing in the backyard with his family on Wednesday afternoon, according to Montcalm County Central Dispatch center. When the family went inside, they realized the boy was gone, WOOD reported.

More than 1,000 volunteers scoured the area surrounding the home on Christmas, 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.