2-year-old boy's death ruled accidental drowning

Deputies believe special needs boy wandered away from house

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Jet Gonzales

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - The Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the death of a 2-year-old boy found unresponsive in a pond behind his home Wednesday morning as an accidental drowning.

The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said its investigation is continuing in the death of Jet Gonzales.

Bloodhounds led deputies to the boy in the pond behind his home in northern St. Johns County after he was reported missing, but efforts of rescuers and doctors at Baptist Medical Center couldn't revive the child.

The Sheriff's Office said the family called 911 at 7:39 a.m. to report the door to their home on Linda Lake Lane was open and their special needs child was missing.

Dozens of deputies were dispatched to search the Sandy Creek neighborhood off State Road 210 just off Interstate 95.

It was a bloodhound from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office that found the boy.

Deputies said the family had searched on their own for about 45 minutes before calling for help.

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The Florida Department of Children and Families is also investigating, which is standard practice after any death of a child outside of a doctor's supervision.

Jet had Down syndrome. His father is stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and about a dozen of his colleagues were out there in uniform for support Wednesday morning. There was also a victim advocate with the family.

Family and friends brought flowers and visited Jet's family Wednesday afternoon try to comfort them as they mourn his sudden death.

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