5-year-old Michigan boy found dead after vanishing Christmas Day, police say

A 5-year-old boy who vanished on Christmas Day from his home in Montcalm County has been found dead, according to Michigan State Police.

Beau Belson was last seen playing with family members outside a home in Six Lakes on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. He was found dead Thursday in a pond near his home, according to police.

Update 2:30 p.m. EST Dec. 26: State police Lt. David Cope told reporters at a news conference Thursday that police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Beau Belson.

Police found Beau dead Thursday in a pond adjacent to his family’s house in Six Lakes nearly 24 hours after family members reported he had vanished. He was last seen Wednesday afternoon playing with family outside.

“I just wish I had better news,” Cope said Thursday.

Police searched the pond adjacent to Beau’s home Wednesday night, but it wasn’t until ice-certified members of Michigan State Police’s Marine Services Team arrived Thursday that they were able to check under the ice over the top of the pond, Cope said.

“We’re not sure at this point if he just wandered into the water (or) fell in,” he said.

It was not immediately clear whether Beau knew how to swim.

Family members told WZZM that hundreds of people gathered to help search for Beau after his disappearance.

“It’s very, very difficult anytime there’s a child involved in something like this,” Cope said Thursday. “It just shows you ... what a close-knit community the Six Lakes area ... and the surrounding areas (are) to come out on Christmas night and help search for a young boy who’s missing.”

Police continue to investigate.

Update 1:50 p.m. EST Dec. 26: Police said they recovered the body of Beau Belson just after noon on Thursday.

Police said his body was found in a pond adjacent to the home he was reported missing from on Wednesday.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Original report: Authorities in Michigan are asking for the public's help locating a 5-year-old boy who vanished Christmas Day in Montcalm County.

State police said Beau Belson was last seen outside a home in Six Lakes, where he was playing with family members. Officials with Montcalm County Central Dispatch said he vanished around 2:30 p.m.

"Family members attempted to locate Beau in the area but were unsuccessful," state police said in a statement.

Authorities from several agencies searched the area for Beau on Thursday without success. Police believe he may be endangered.

Officials described Beau as a 3-foot-tall, 40-pound boy with blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing gray and green dinosaur pajamas, a blue jacket and black boots. Officials with Montcalm County Central Dispatch said Beau has autism “but is able to communicate.”

Anyone with information on Beau’s whereabouts is asked to contact Montcalm Central Dispatch at 989-831-5253 or Michigan State Police’s Lakeview post at 989-352-8444.

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