FORT JENNINGS — A volunteer rescue worker found the body of a missing 5-year-old boy Thursday afternoon.
The remains of Isaac Schroeder were discovered at 5:07 p.m. in a log jam along the bank of the Auglaize River, south of Road R, about three-quarters of a mile downstream from his home, according to Capt. Brad Brubaker, of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s not the ending that we were hoping for, but if this had to be the ending, we are happy that we were able to find him rather than this going on and on,” Brubaker said during an 8 p.m. press conference.
The sheriff’s office received the 911 call from the boy’s mother at 3:09 p.m. Wednesday. Brubaker said the child likely left his home through a garage door, and no foul play or abduction was suspected. The child had non-verbal autism.
More than 900 volunteers turned out at Fort Jennings Park to assist in the search Thursday afternoon, including members of the FBI and Ohio BCI.
The search expanded Thursday afternoon to 12 miles along the Auglaize River and three miles around Schroeder’s residence that previously had been searched.
“When you’re looking along the riverbank, there could be several kinds of branches involved,” Brubaker said
Schroeder’s residence lies on the bank of the Auglaize River, so the search had been concentrated there. According to reports, a similar incident happened two years ago when the child was playing along the river. At that time he was recovered by his mother, Sarah Schroeder.
Brubaker confirmed the Schroeder family has not set up any GoFundMe pages, but a fund has been started in their name at Fort Jennings State Bank. Any GoFundMe pages that have been started have not been authorized by the family.
Dive teams and boats from the Continental Fire Department, Delphos Fire and Rescue, American Township in Allen County and Allen Township in Hancock County assisted in water searches. Other agencies who assisted in the search included the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio State Patrol and LifeFlight.
“Putnam County is a great place to live and that truly showed the last few days,” said Putnam County Sheriff Brian S. Siefker. “Today we had over 900 volunteers throughout the day and that shows dedication. We really appreciate those volunteers coming out. Donations such as water and food, they never ended. No one was thirsty and no one was hungry with all the food and water that was coming in.”
Officials reiterated that the Schroeder family is known in the small community, so “everyone is hurting tonight.”