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5-year-old boy with autism found dead in Allentown, PA

January 03, 2016

Firefighters found the body of a missing 5-year-old boy with autism in a Pennsylvania canal following a two-day search that began during a New Year’s Eve party, according to the New York Daily News.

Jayliel Vega Batista, of Allentown, wandered away from a relative’s festivities at around 10:30 p.m. with no coat or shoes, sparking a dogged search for the child that ended in tragedy Saturday afternoon.

Watch: One family's plan to prevent wandering

As part of Autism Speaks’ efforts to ensure the safety of the autism community, the organization has awarded $98,000 to Project Lifesaver International. Project Lifesaver serves approximately 18,000 individuals with autism who wear small personal transmitters that emit an individualized locating signal. If an enrolled person with autism wanders from safety, the caregiver notifies their local Project Lifesaver agency and a trained emergency team responds in the wanderer’s area.

Read more about Project Lifesaver here

You can find additional Autism Speaks resources for families and first responders to help prevent wandering hereVisit this page to report an active case of wandering.