WHITE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) - A 5-year-old died after he wandered away from home and was found unresponsive in a neighbor's backyard pool.
Police say the search for 5-year-old Lenny Hatinda in Indiana County ended in tragedy.
"This was simply a terrible accident where the child wandered away from home and a tragic outcome resulted from that," said Trooper Cliff Greenfield.
The little boy, who had autism and was non-verbal, was last seen by his mom after she put him to bed in her White Township home. Around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, she went back to check in on the child. He was gone.
"There were people up and down the road with spotlights and flashlights," said Mary Murphy, who joined in the search. She lives off Country Meadows Lane, not far from where the boy wandered off. She was one of many who desperately searched for the little boy in the dark.
Police say that around 11 p.m., the little boy was found unresponsive in a neighbor's swimming pool by a family member in White Township. First responders attempted to resuscitate him. He was rushed to Indiana Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m.
The child's mother is said to be an exchange student at IUP and is expecting her second child any time now. The fence around the pool where the child was discovered had gaping holes. The pool itself had a sunken cover covered with water mud and debris.
His cause of death was determined to be freshwater drowning and the manner of death has been ruled accidental.
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