Tragic death: Body found in pond identified as missing Aurora boy David Puckett

Posted at 1:45 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 21:33:07-05

AURORA, Colo. -- After five days of fearing the worst, tragedy became reality for the family of 6-year-old David Puckett when the Arapahoe County Coroner on Wednesday confirmed his body had been found under the ice of an Aurora pond a day earlier. 

Police uncovered the body of a small child on Tuesday in a pond in Aurora's Olympic Park after a police dog had a positive hit near the ice. 

Search parties had already covered the area amid the four-day search, however police went back to retrace their steps. 

The coroner's office confirmed Wednesday what police couldn't on Tuesday when they located the body -- it belongs to David Puckett, who had a history of wandering from his home. 

Authorities issued an AMBER Alert nearly 48 hours after Puckett wandered from his family's Aurora home again, despite saying originally the boy's disappearance did not meet criterion for such an alert.

Police said they were certain the boy hadn't been abducted, but eventually issued the alert after considered the imminent danger incoming cold weather would pose. 

More than 150 volunteers arrived to help the family and police search for the boy, leading to the arrival of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

FBI resources joined forces with Aurora Police and Arapahoe County, leading to a redoubling of efforts centering around the Olympic Park area. 

It was then that police were able to send divers under the ice of Olympic Park's pond, leading to the discovery of the boy's body.

It led to an emotional press conference by Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz, who ultimately said police couldn't confirm the identity, but had come to their own conclusions.

The coroner's office took less than 24 hours to confirm the boy's identity, however they have not yet confirmed how the boy died. Puckett's body did not appear to have traumatic injury, however the cause of death is still under investigation. 

Police in Aurora said the Crimes Against Children Unit is still actively investigating the boy's death to "determine the circumstances surrounding David's death." 

Aurora Police released a statement on Facebook saying, "We would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support to both David’s family and all of the first responders, investigators, and community volunteers who worked tirelessly to find David." 

Despite a handful of GoFundMe pages that have been started for the family, there is only one public donation fund that the family is asking people to use to ensure the money goes to the family. If you wish to donate, you can send funds to:

The David Puckett Memorial Fund

Space Age Federal Credit Union

Account Number 84527

3005 South Parker Road #C-300

Aurora, CO 80014

Around 40 members of the Aurora Police Department laid a wreath at the Olympic Park pond where David Puckett was found.



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