Search for Missing Boy Ends in Tragedy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/21/05

Search for Missing Boy Ends in Tragedy

The body was found in this algae-covered pond. The body was found in this algae-covered pond.

A nightmare all too real: parents find the door to their house propped open, and their two-year old son missing.

It happened in Stilson Friday, with rescuers working against time and fading hope until the discovery in a pond behind the house.

Little Camden Simpson's parents saw him safely in his bedroom around ten in the morning; when they went looking for him an hour later, he was nowhere to be found.

After a quick look around with no luck, the sheriff's office asked for help from all over.

"We put the call out and they came running," explains Sheriff Lynn Anderson.

Helicopters, ATVs, and tracking dogs converged on the tiny town of Stilson, along with more than a hundred volunteers.

They scoured every road, wooded area and building in every direction.

Despite the wide scope of the search, though, crews kept their focus on the small algae-covered pond behind the house all day long.

Anderson says Camden's parents had a tough time watching that search, "They knew we had been concentrating on the pond all day, and they were hoping we were wrong and we were hoping we were wrong."

Unfortunately, they were right. A little more than six hours after Camden disappeared, search crews found him in the shallow water.

"We'd been dropping water out of it 2-3 hours," says Anderson, "And once it dropped down 2-3 feet, we were able to see. Matter of fact, right near the hoses we were pumping it out."

Search crews stopped looking, and hung their heads as they gathered around the pond.

"We kept waiting for someone to call and say: 'He walked up to our house.' It's heartbreaking," sighed Anderson a short time later.

In all, more than a dozen different agencies showed up to help with the search.

Camden's body is being taken to a GBI lab for an autopsy.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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