Body of missing Knox County boy found in pond

taken at the Knox County search scene by KTVO's Stephanie Claytor

UPDATE: Thursday, Mar. 29, 7:23 p.m

The autopsy results for 6-year-old Christian Baucom are in. Jeff Doss, the Knox County Coroner, said the preliminary results indicate that Baucom's cause of death was drowning. Doss said they took Baucom's body to University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. on Thursday to be examined. He said the toxicology results will not be complete for another three to four weeks.

Ryan Bishop, Chief Deputy with the Knox County Sheriff's Office, said investigators decided to conduct an autopsy because of the previous incident that happened seven months ago, when Christian's twin brother Jason Baucom, also drowned in a pond. Bishop said there was nothing that led investigators to believe that foul play was involved in this recent incident.

The search for 6-year-old Christian Baucom of Colony, Missouri has come to an end.

When Christian went missing, he was with two of his caregivers at the home of Ruth and Mervin Hoover, who live on Route K in Colony, Mo. Authorities located his body just before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday about 250 yards from the Hoover residence. He was last seen Tuesday just before 1 p.m. His caregivers said they were with him on the porch and went inside for just 10 or 15 minutes. When they came back, Christian had vanished.

Christianâ??s body was found in a pond in a hog enclosure behind the home. Search teams had already canvassed the area the night before and divers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol even waded through the pond about an hour before finding the boy. In order to locate him, volunteers and four divers broke the levee and partially drained the pond. Within about 15 minutes of searching through it with the water lowered, the divers located Christian Baucom.

There are three ponds within viewing distance of the Hoover residence; the Patrol said they paid particular attention to this pond because the caregivers said the boy was familiar with the terrain and had a fascination with the hogs that use the pond.

"Initially we didn't think it was that deep," said Lt. Nelson Elfrink, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "It ended up being deeper than we thought but some of the family members had mentioned before that the kid had always had a fascination with hogs and that he would go down there. So, that's one of the reasons we kind of focused on that pond as well."

Investigators said right now they are assuming the boy died as a result of drowning; they are in the process of determining whether an autopsy needs to be conducted in order to locate an official cause of death.

Baucom was a foster child, being raised by four Mennonite sisters living in Colony, Mo. They include Mary Ellen Huber, Nancy Huber, Elizabeth Huber, and Marian Huber. Mary Ellen Huber would not talk to us on camera but she described Baucom as very active. Huber said she and her sisters did not let Christian out of their sight because he couldn't be trusted alone. The Huber sisters were also caregivers to Christian's twin brother, Jason Baucom. He drowned seven months ago in another pond at the Huber residence, near Colony, Mo. Mary Ellen Huber said Jason and Christian's birthmother is incarcerated.

Previous stories...

Authorities finish search for missing boy

Child missing from Knox County, Mo.

Little boy drowns in pond

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