Braylen Noble, a missing 3-year-old boy from Toledo, Ohio, who was the subject of days of search efforts, has been tragically found dead in a swimming pool.
“Update: Sept. 9 at 5:30 PM The body of a small child has been found in the pool at Gibralter Heights. Official ID will be made by the Coroner’s Office. The investigation has now turned from a Missing Person to a Death Investigation. Info will be released as it becomes available,” Toledo police wrote.
The coroner confirmed that the body was Braylen’s but hasn’t released a cause of death; police said it was an active investigation, according to 13abc. The coroner was conducting an autopsy on September 10 to determine the cause of death, WTOL11 reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Described Days of Searches
Before Braylen’s body was found, Toledo police provided a series of updates.
On September 9, they reported that “officers from Toledo Police, Agents from the FBI, Toledo Fire and Rescue, and K9 Officers from Springfield Township FD/Black Swamp Search and rescue continued the search area of Swan Creek.”
On September 5, they indicated that social media posts saying Braylen was found were wrong. “The search and the investigation is still ongoing,” they tweeted. That same day, police wrote, “K9s are again being deployed in the Swan Creek area near Gibralter Heights Dr. We will continue to update as information becomes available. Braylen has not been located yet.”
They indicated the child was 3 years old and the subject of a missing person investigation.
“Update: Toledo Police, Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, and Toledo Metroparks Officers are conducting an area search – searching surrounding buildings, dumpsters, under vehicles, and more. Drones are in the air, TFRD Water Rescue is working Swan Creek, K9s are also being utilized,” they wrote at one point.
2. The Child’s Grandmother Told Police the Child Might Have Fallen Out of a Window, According to a 911 Call
Audio of a 911 call was published by NBC 24. Braylen’s grandmother Bobbie is heard on the phone saying Braylen fell out a window in the apartment complex, the outlet reported. “We have a missing 3-year-old, autistic, nonverbal,” she says.
She adds, “We’ve been looking for him for over a good 30 minutes. He fell out this window.” The grandmother sobs throughout the 911 call as she speaks with a dispatcher.
The grandmother tells the dispatcher, “I’m hoping he’s okay but we don’t know where he is. We walked the whole grounds.” She says they searched the pool and swing area. She adds that they even looked in closets.
3. Braylen’s Mother Said She Knew He Was Scared & Crying, Indicating She Hoped He Was Returned Safe
The child’s mother, Dajnae Cox, spoke with NBC 24. “It’s been four days since my son has been missing,” she said. “… Please take him somewhere safe. I know he’s scared, and I know he’s crying. He has stomach pains.”
If anyone had him, she urged them to “drop him off to me. I just want him home, that’s it.”
She said that he was a picky eater and that she suspected he wasn’t eating. She said anyone who had him could also drop the boy off at the police department.
4. Police Described Braylen as Nonverbal & Said He Was Last Seen Wearing a Mickey Mouse Shirt
Toledo police said on Twitter that Noble was nonverbal.
They initially described him as “Missing Juvenile: Braylen Noble, 3, is missing from 3415 Gibraltar Heights Drive. LSW red and white Mickey Mouse shirt. If seen call 911 immediately. #toledopolice.”
According to 13abc, police had already searched the pool area on September 4 but returned a second time days later. That’s when they found the boy’s body.
5. Prayer Vigils Were Held in the Boy’s Memory
Community and prayer vigils were held throughout Toledo in memory of the child. People brought stuffed animals and balloons and put them at the pool where Braylen was found.
People are setting up for a vigil tonight after the body of 3-year-old Braylen Noble was found in the Hunter’s Ridge apartment complex pool. More tonight on @13abc starting at 5pm. pic.twitter.com/ZeV790hk6e
— Rachel Schneider (@Rachel13abc) September 9, 2020
“We’re going to let the legal system ask why,” volunteer Sherri Sweeney said to 13abc. “What we’re going to do, we’re going to continue to love these babies, and when we cry, we’re going to hug them, and when they cry we’re going to ask them what’s wrong.”