CLEARLAKE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities found the body on Wednesday of an autistic Northern California 9-year-old who went missing from her family's vacation home, ending an exhaustive, emotional search for the girl.
A dive team found Mikaela Lynch in a muddy creek near the home in Clearlake, Clearlake Police Chief Craig Clausen said. He said there was no indication of foul play, but offered few other details, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported (http://bit.ly/10H2kd0). It was not clear how long she had been in the water.
"It's difficult to be standing here saying this," Clausen said at a news conference.
Mikaela went missing on Sunday. She had been playing on a trampoline with her brother and was briefly alone when he went into the house.
Police have said she was unable to speak and had the mental capacity of a 1-year-old. She liked the water, but did not swim.
Surveillance video from a neighbor's house showed her naked running up the street, and then her family looking for her minutes later.
Her parents had planned to speak publicly for the first time on Wednesday, the Press Democrat reported. But Clausen said they have since requested privacy and did not plan to make any statements.
Mikaela's disappearance sparked a massive search effort that included hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials.
After the announcement of her death, volunteers and rescuers cried, the Press Democrat reported.
"We just wanted to find that baby and bring some peace to the family," said Fred Cox of Clearlake, who was turned away from volunteering after Mikaela was found.