Autistic boy, 6, from Virginia found dead in a pond after he was reported 'missing'
Landon 'Waldy' Raber, a 6-year-old boy from Virginia, was reported missing over the weekend. Early Monday, on July 11, Waldy, a non-verbal child with autism, was found dead, according to authorities. According to a Facebook post post from the Buckingham County Department of Emergency Services, Waldy was discovered in a little pond on the land from where he reportedly went missing.
"While this was not the outcome anyone was wanting, or expecting, we’d like to thank everyone who was involved with searching all evening and all night. This includes, but not limited to, VSP, all Buckingham Volunteer Fire Departments, BCDES, deputies from multiple other counties, and personnel from other volunteer fire departments," the post said. They asked everyone to keep the family in their thoughts and to "respect their privacy during this difficult time."
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The Toga Volunteer Fire Department claims that at about 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, authorities were initially informed of Raber's absence. "This is a message for the Buckingham County Sheriffs' Office. Please be on the lookout for a missing 6 year old non-verbal, autistic male LAST SEEN WEARING GRAY PANTS AND A GREEN AND BLUE TSHIRT near the area of 4650 New Store Rd. If seen or located, please call the Buckingham Sheriffs Office at 434-969-1772," a Facebook post made by the Fire Department read. It also said that all Buckingham County Vol. Fire Depts., ES 1, BCDES, BSO, VSP, VDEM Search and Rescue, VSP Helicopter, and VSP canine units assisted in the search. "Cumberland Deputies are also assisting and members from Farmville and Prince Edward FD’s are on scene," it added.
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No other information about Raber's death has been made public by the authorities. The family's neighborhood organized a gathering to remember Raber on Monday afternoon in the wake of the devastating news. This gathering has a Facebook page to which 419 people responded. The page bio reads: "This will be a place to pray for and support the family and also to remember the sweet life of Landon 'Waldy' Raber! His short life has touched so many people and we want to take this time to show our support and grieve together as a community/friends/family!"