Family of autistic girl devastated after body found

Autistic girl goes missing, body found in pond


LEESBURG, Fla. – The body believed to be of a missing 12-year-old Leesburg girl has been found.

Leesburg Police said Beyonce Reddick wandered away from home around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Police said Reddick is autistic, does not speak and has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old.

After hours of searching by air, ground and water, a dive team spotted what they believe is her body at the bottom of a pond in front of Leesburg Regional Medical Center on East Dixie Avenue.

The area is about a block from the girl's home. Investigators said the child was known to frequent parks, areas with water, and likes anything to do with water. A bloodhound was able to track her scent to the pond. This comes after a family member spotted her walking in the area.

Sgt. Scott Mack with Leesburg Police told Local 6, "Her mother received a call from a family member who saw Beyonce in the area of the hospital and asked them if she knew where beyonce was and that's when she checked the house and didn't see Beyonce and that's when she called us."

For Wanda Kizer, losing her great-niece can't be put into words.

"Just hold them close, just hold them close at night," said Kizer, fighting back tears.

Investigators are calling it a tragic accident.

Beyonce loved water and while it may have put her in harm's way, her family rather remember her love of music, a form of expression that allowed her to break the shackles of her disabilities.

"Sweet, loving, caring. She was just an angel, an angel God sent down. She was just an angel," said Kizer.

Investigators are working with the family to positively identify the body. Family members believe the girl escaped from a window.