Body of Missing 9-Year-Old Autistic Girl Mikaela Lynch Is Tragically Found

Mikaela LynchMikaela Lynch, the 9-year-old severely autistic girl who had gone missing from her family's yard on Mother's Day, has been found. She was reportedly found drowned in a lake near the family home in Clearlake, California. It took divers several days to find her due to the dark, muddy waters of the lake in which her body was recovered. Police said they do not suspect foul play. Her parents have not yet made a statement, but I can only imagine their devastation. The girl, who could not speak and was said to have the mental abilities of a 1-year-old, had run off after she was playing in the enclosed yard with her younger brother.

Hundreds of volunteers who had been desperately searching for Mikaela were told the bad news as they showed up to continue the search. Said a local man, Fred Cox, to the Press Democrat when he showed up for the search that was no longer needed:

We just wanted to find that baby and bring some peace to the family. It's going to hurt. It's going to hurt real bad.

Mikaela had bolted from the fenced-in yard while her younger brother, who is 8, had gone inside the house after being chased by a bee, leaving Mikaela alone. Video from a nearby surveillance cam then showed the girl running up the street naked. Her clothes were found in the yard and the diaper she wore was near the lake where she was found. She was prone to take both off when she was hot.

Mikaela was unable to swim, and because she was non-verbal, she didn't respond to searchers. Some people familiar with autistic children have said they tend to be drawn to water, and her family also said she enjoyed water.

Questions have been raised about how long the girl was left without adult supervision -- even why she was left without it at all. But from what I've heard, autistic children, like most children, can be extremely fast. Perhaps more could have been done to make sure the girl couldn't get out of the yard, or couldn't get out without the adults being notified, but hindsight is always 20/20. I can't imagine what parents of children with severe difficulties must have to deal with on a daily basis. I won't judge anyone who has to go through that and I hope others won't either. I think sometimes we all forget tragedies can happen to the best of us, just in the blink of an eye. The parents need our compassion right now, not our judgment. Just as you someday may need compassion too.

Is there anything you can say to offer support to Mikaela's parents at this time?


Image via Clearlake Police Dept.

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nicol... nicolemead91

this is soo sad! i just read about this girl missing the other day, then i come on here this morning, and i read this.. just sooo sad!! poor child, rip! =(

bills... billsfan1104

Why bring up "hindsight" anyway? Damn, they just found out about the girl, and you are already bringing up questions. Give it a rest for at least a couple of days

femal... femaleMIKE

Its very sad. 

I am just relieved that there was no foul play. 

hello... hellokd87

This is just devastating. I'm pretty sure the parents are going through everything in their minds wondering what they could have done differently. I will pray God gives them the peace they need to get through this.

Irela... Ireland69

RIP little angel! May her parents and brother find peace. No one is to blame we're not perfect!

LostS... LostSoul88

This is truly heart breaking and YES I do blame the parents. If she had the mind of a 1yr old then they should have NEVER let her be outside unsupervised. Yes she was with her brother but her brother is a child and isn't responsible for her, her parents were. 

Lauren Sackman

LostSoul88, do you have a child with autism? If not then kindly STFO.. If so then have you ever needed to go to the bathroom? If so then STFU.... Do you know it takes less then a minute for a child to disappear... Do you know what the parents where doing they could have been in the bathroom.. Accidents happen and there is NOBODY at fault here.. Grow up you narrow minded freak

LSeab... LSeabolt1982

LostSoul88 you mean to tell me you have never bolted like a track start upstairs to get a pair of pajamas for your kid or raced to the bathroom real quick or anything. You children are in your sight 100% of the time and you NEVER EVER take yours eyes off them. If you say yes you are so full of shit.

Joe Mosack

I have a 19 year old daughter with Autism and she is very much like much so it scares me to think what if.... BUT, As sad as this is and believe me i am totally broken hearted...The parents SHOULD HAVE had an eye on her...i DO KNOW from experience how fast an Autistic child can be, I am not perfect. Locks should have been on the gate she got out of(for the safety of BOTH kids), one of the 2 parents should have been outside with the kids,etc...Lauren, I agree with lostsoul88, BUT I agree with you as well. Fact of the matter is a precious little girl was lost to a huge community in california AND online, not to mention her Family. I hate to say this, but I am sure the parents are blaming themselves....i know I would. But now is the time to support them,grieve with them, let them heal...God knows it will be with them for the rest of their lives...always the "If i had only"....Pray folks, just pray. R.I.P Mikaela, sweet Angel.

youth... youthfulsoul

No I don't think the parents are to blame. Even the best child proofing doesn't always work. I have non autistic children who have been known to get past door locks and take off into the front yard when they were younger.

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