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Body of missing autistic boy found in Pennsylvania

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Jayliel Vega Batista. Photo: CBS Philly via CBS News

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Authorities in Pennsylvania announced Saturday that the body of a missing 5-year-old autistic boy has been recovered after he went missing during a New Year’s Eve party.

Police said at a press conference Saturday evening the body of Jayliel Vega Batista was recovered in a canal in Allentown, CBS Philadelphia station KYW reported.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim says an autopsy Monday will help determine when he entered the water.

Jayliel was playing with a toy with some other children when he left his great aunt’s home at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, said his 16-year-old sister, Tayritza Molina. He left barefoot and without a coat, according to police.

Search dogs tracked the boy’s scent to the canal, where the tablet Jayliel had been playing with was found early Saturday afternoon. That prompted police to call in divers who found the boy’s body about eight feet from shore, in six feet of water.

Police called it a “tragic accident.”