Port St. Lucie, FL – The body of missing four-year-old was found in a Florida pond early Monday morning.
Chelsea Noel, who is autistic and non-verbal, was reported missing by her father Remy Noel around 9:50 p.m. on Saturday night, Dec. 2, after she walked out the front door of her house located in the 4600 block of Keats Street.
Family members noticed she was gone several minutes later and called police who arrived within six minutes.
Surveillance video showed Chelsea walking through the front door and leaving on her own just minutes before she was discovered missing, according to TCPalm.
A search for Chelsea began immediately, and continued through the weekend.
Port St. Lucie Police Sergeant Frank Sabol, the department spokesman, said officers, divers, search dogs, and a helicopter were used during the search, and were assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers went door to door, and searched vacant lots, ponds, and a main canal just south of Chelsea’s home. Community members also joined in the search.
“I can’t say enough about the cooperation of the community and law enforcement,” Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc said.
Police said that search dogs sniffed Chelsea’s clothing but weren’t able to trail her.
Searchers had an indication of where Chelsea went after looking at neighborhood security cameras.
A local resident donated the use of his drone to help in searching areas for the child, police said. That drone detected a discolored figure in a body of water near her home, WTVD reported.
A dive team didn’t find her body in that pond.
However, a U.S. Marshal in a kayak spotted something in the water in another retention pond late Sunday night.
“He had his flashlight and he was holding it under water. It illuminated the nightgown,” Port St. Lucie Police Chief John Bolduc said in a media availability.
A dive team pulled Chelsea’s body from a pond at Hallmark Street and Abacus Avenue at about 1 a.m. on Dec. 4, blocks from her home in southern Port St. Lucie.
“It is tremendous tragedy. The family is very distraught … It is the biggest tragedy I can think of,” Chief John Bolduc said, after giving the tragic news to the child’s parents.