Autistic Boy Found By Dive Team, Sent to Hospital


Missing 7-year-old autistic boy Isaac Sprague was found alive but in need of medical attention Thursday night, lying on his back in a small body of water.

Isaac had been missing since 11 a.m. He was practicing archery in Hilmar's George J. Hatfield State Recreation Area, near the Merced River, at the time of his disappearance.

Family member searched for Isaac for roughly one hour before calling the Merced County Sheriff's Department for help. The Sheriff's Department immediately mobilized search and rescue teams, air support, and a K-9 unit.

Given the potential hazard of the nearby river, the Merced County Sheriff's Water Rescue team was called into action as well.

Due to his autism, Isaac is unable to communicate. But rescuers heard a moan as they searched what Merced County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Delray Shelton termed “a body of water.”

That moan led the Water Rescue Team to Isaac, who was laying on his back in a “small body of water.”

Isaac was promptly transported to a nearby hospital. Shelton said that Isaac is expected to be okay.

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