Boy missing in Stoughton found dead

Boy's body recovered from pond

Published On: Jul 03 2012 06:44:02 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 04 2012 12:10:30 PM CDT
STOUGHTON, Wis. -

Stoughton police said a missing 5-year-old boy has been found dead in a retention pond.

Police said they received a 911 call at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday from a citizen who said their son had seen a little boy in a retention pond near the Stoughton Fire Department on East Main Street.

The boy, Jeremiah Conn, was also missing at that time, and authorities began a search for him.

Police said the boy was autistic, nearly non-verbal and loved water.

"(The boy) was actually seen just about a half hour before the incident. The family discovered him missing from the house a couple blocks away," said Stoughton Fire Department Chief Martin Lamers.

It took authorities nearly three hours to find the boy. At one point, crews had to drain part of the 6-foot deep, murky rainwater retention pond.

Police started their search again and recovered the boy's body from the pond at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"We are conducting an investigation. The family is being notified as we speak. It's a tragic event, but at this point, we don't suspect foul play. We believe at this point it's just a simple tragedy," said Stoughton Police Department Chief Greg Leck.

Police said the boy -- also called "J.B." -- was from the Madison area. His family was in Stoughton visiting.

Many neighbors who WISC-TV spoke with Tuesday night wondered why there wasn't a fence around the pond or other safety measures to keep children out.