Jacob Kimbley, a two-year-old child in Winona, Texas, has been found dead in a fiberglass septic tank after a search that lasted nearly 12 hours.
Kimbley, who was described as non-verbal and mentally challenged, was last seen alive around 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon while playing hide-and-seek in a wooded area near his home with two other children, who are unharmed, according to KETK-TV.
According to the Smith County Sheriff's Office, Kimbley's body was discovered at about 1:15 a.m. after a search that included more than 150 emergency responders and volunteers using 4-wheelers, helicopters and horses, the Gladewater Mirror reported.
Around 7 p.m. Tuesday night, searchers said they had found Kimbley’s footprints in the mud of a creek, sparking hope that he might be found soon, according to KTBB.com.
The boy's body wasn't discovered in the septic tank until 1:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Kimbley's family has been notified of his death. His body has been sent to Dallas for an autopsy, and results are expected by the end of this week.
Officials could not say whether the death was foul play or accidental.
UPDATE: The Smith County Sheriffs Dept. said the case is now being treated as a homicide, but district attorney Matt Bingham told KETK-TV that all cases like this are investigated as homicides unless evidence proves otherwise.
No one is considered a suspect, but investigators will collect evidence, talk with witnesses, and wait for the autopsy results.
Child Protective Services removed two other kids from the family's home Wednesday evening and placed them in foster care.
BEFORE YOU GO
GALLERY: MISSING CHILDREN