HEARTBREAKING UPDATE: Non-verbal 4-year-old with autism found dead in retention pond after missing for hours


The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced they found Gavin Douyon dead in a retention pond around 9:20 p.m. in the area he went missing.

Officials said his family was from out of town and they were visiting friends in the neighborhood.

At the height of the search there were 40 JFRD team members and 52 JSO officers actively searching and investigating the area, JSO said.

RELATED: JSO: 5-year-old boy with autism found dead in Jacksonville pond after being reported missing

According to investigators, there is no foul play suspected, and this incident appears to be a ‘horrible and tragic loss of life.’

This is now the second tragic accident in just two months where a child with autism was found dead in a retention pond.

On April 25, a 5-year-old with autism was found dead in a retention pond off Beach Boulevard just hours after he was reported missing.

Below is JSO’s media briefing on the tragic incident.

HAPPENING NOW: JSO gives briefing on missing non-verbal 4-year-old with Autism who was last seen around 6 p.m. on Jacksonville's northside

HAPPENING NOW: JSO gives briefing on missing non-verbal 4-year-old with Autism who was last seen around 6 p.m. on Jacksonville's northside bit.ly/3yLobbb

Posted by Action News Jax on Monday, May 31, 2021

UPDATE 9:30 P.M.:

According to councilman Reggie Gaffney, who is at the scene of the search, Gavin is from New York and was in town visiting family for a family member’s birthday.

UPDATE 8:45 P.M.:

A JSO Dive Team and a K-9 unit are on scene assisting dozens of JSO and JFRD crews in the search for 4-year-old Gavin Douyon.

Action News Jax Ryan Nelson is also on scene working to learn more about the search for Gavin.

UPDATE 7:50 P.M.:

Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a missing child alert for Gavin Douyon.

You can also click here to view FDLE’s alert.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department confirmed the new program Missing and Endangered Persons Search and Rescue Program (MEPSAR), has been activated.

JFRD Captain Eric Prosswimmer said JFRD is at a ‘Level 1′ response, which is “The initial stage where crews from the immediate area begin searching the area that is their territory that they know better than anyone.”

Prosswimmer said this “puts boots on the ground searching fast.”


The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is searching for 4-year-old Gavin Douyon, who is diagnosed with Autism and is non-verbal and was last seen on Jacksonville’s Northside.

According to JSO, Gavin was last seen just before 6 p.m. near Duval Road and Armsdale Road on the 12000 block of Chester Creek Road.

JSO said he was playing with family members outside when he wandered off in an unknown direction.

Gavin is 3′0′', 30 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

He was wearing a white shirt with ‘Polo’ on it, dark blue shorts and no shoes when he wandered off.

Anyone who has seen or may know where Gavin is, is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or 911 immediately.

Bailey Husker

Bailey Husker, Action News Jax

Bailey Husker is a digital content producer and assignment editor for Action News Jax.