HEATHROW, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Seminole county deputies gathered on the bank of Lake Sawyer, where seven year-old Humza Syed's body was found after an all-night search.
“A tragedy for this family and a tragedy for this community,” said Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma
Lemma explaining how Syed - who had autism - spent Saturday night with his older brothers at home. While neither was looking, they say Syed got out through the garage. After they couldn't find him on their own, they called deputies who launched an all-out search.
“We had hundreds of people walking the streets at all hours of the night,” Lemma said.
Several agencies came in, bringing officers, bloodhounds, and helicopters. “It breaks our heart to release that we were ultimately able to recover him as he was in the lake,” Lemma said.
Syed didn't fear the water, but he didn't know how to swim and he was known to be a “runner.” “That largely came from his participation in school,” Lemma explained, “they say when he became angered or frightened he'd typically run away from those situations.”
They say a person did see Syed before he was reported missing, but thought he was a boy who lived across the street. The boy's family, school, and the Heathrow community are now dealing with the loss.
“You can imagine the shock and second guessing that goes on with this,” Lemma said.
Grief counselors will be available in the coming days and weeks to help cope with the tragedy.