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St. Johns neighborhood mourns the loss of toddler

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Updated: 9/19/2012 6:53 pm
ST JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Neighbors who live in the Sandy Creek subdivision spent their morning searching for missing 2-year-old Jet Gonzales.

"I was thinking about my three kids and if that happened to me I'd want as much support as possible and this neighborhood came together and we did what we had to do," says neighbor Yale McNeill.

The toddler walked away from his home on Linda Lake Lane about 7 a.m. Wednesday. According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the boy's parents called police when they found a door open and their son missing.
St. Johns County Sheriff's Cpl. Catherine Payne says, "At this point in time it is an active investigation. Detectives are working to piece together the evidence to determine what exactly occurred that lead up to this incident."  

The sheriff's office launched a search for the boy, who has Down syndrome. They had rescue workers, K-9s and helicopters search the area. The sheriff's office also used the Code Red system to contact hundreds of neighbors surrounding the boy's home.

"We deployed a lot of resources this morning. This community reached out and they assisted us with a search. A lot of effort went into that, and unfortunately this was a tragic incident," says Payne.  Despite the massive search effort, Jet's body was found in a nearby pond. Neighbors who have children of their own say they are all heartbroken by this tragedy.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family," says neighbor Betty Meares. 

An autopsy will be conducted in the next few days to determine the toddler's cause of death.
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