Body of missing autistic boy, 11, is found in river as haunting details of his final moments are revealed
An autistic boy was found dead after disappearing while allegedly thinking he was playing hide and seek.
Police say they found the body of 11-year-old Draven Graham in the river a day after he wandered out of the house.
This speechless boy was last seen on the street in the town of Lindsay, in southeastern Ontario, Canada.
Draven’s father said Justin said his son slipped out of the house while shaving in the bathroom.
Graham told CP24 News: “He wasn’t on the couch, where he was before I got in there.
“I asked my daughter if he was in her room, and she said ‘No.'”
He said he then went to the front door but found it unlocked.
During the search, Draven’s father said he remained optimistic as the boy was playing a game of hide and seek that had been going on for much longer than anyone felt comfortable.
The father explains that because of his condition, Draven often hides, preferring parks and the outdoors.
“It’s probably just a big game for him, but not for us,” Graham told local news site Parry Sound.
“Maybe he’s thinking he’s just playing with his dad.”
The heartbroken father added: “This is the longest departure he’s ever gone.”
A large-scale search was launched, in which his clothes, dark jogging pants and a blue T-shirt were discovered the day he went missing.
Graham says this doesn’t indicate that his son went swimming in the nearby Scugog River, but that Draven took off his clothes because they were damp.
“Because it was raining, he got wet and he didn’t like… wearing (wet) clothes. Most autistic kids don’t like it,” the father said at the time.
While Draven has high functioning autism, he speaks only in small sentences and does not respond well to his name.
This is something search effort teams must keep in mind when scouring waterfronts, trails, and backyards.
However, after the Ontario Volunteer Emergency Response Team joined the search on Monday, the Ontario Provincial Police confirmed that they had discovered a body in the Sucogog River.
Draven’s body was discovered by the police’s Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.
“Investigation is ongoing but no foul play is suspected” Lake Kawartha . Police said in a tweet.
“Everyone involved has a heavy heart at this time. We encourage each of you to continue to support the family while letting them grieve during this traumatic time,” Kawartha Lakes Police Sergeant Deb Hagarty said in a tweet.
“We want to thank everyone in the community for all their support.”
A memorial has been established at Rivera Park in Lindsay in Draven’s honor.
A petition has also been launched to create a “Draven Alert” for autistic and vulnerable/special needs children who are missing for Draven’s honor – for the sake of the scene. Ambert newspapers are only used for kidnapped children.