4-year-old missing in Louisiana national park swamp waters ‘teeming with dangerous wildlife’

Ellis Boudean, 4, went into the water in the Jean Lafitte National Park on July 15, officials...
Ellis Boudean, 4, went into the water in the Jean Lafitte National Park on July 15, officials say.(Family)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 12:12 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WVUE/Gray News) - Search and rescue crews are on the water in Jean Lafitte National Park Friday morning after a young boy went missing Thursday evening, authorities said.

WVUE reported that a 4-year-old boy with autism went missing Thursday around 5:30 p.m., according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The boy was last seen with a parent.

A family member said Ellis Boudean was walking with his mom and his 3-year-old brother when they stopped to fly a kite. The boy’s mother was fixing the kite when he went into the water.

The boy’s mom reportedly went into the water after him but was unsuccessful in recovering him and immediately called 911.

One of his shoes was found floating in the water.

“They came here because they wanted to stop. I love the trails. They loved running on the trails, so she pulled over. She just wanted them to have fun before they went home. She was getting the kite ready and not even 45 seconds. You can’t look away from a child with autism. That’s it,” the mother’s sister Bryanna Aguilard said.

Volunteers were searching throughout the night.

On Friday morning, the sheriff’s office had a full complement of search and rescue crews searching.

A spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said they are pretty confident the boy is in the water. The area is mostly dense swampland.

“We currently have no evidence that the child is on land, and search efforts are now focused on the area waterways. The land in the area the child was last seen has been thoroughly searched by multiple parties. While access to the park is not restricted at this time, please remember that the area is a nature preserve. It is swampy, covered in dense vegetation, and teeming with potentially dangerous wildlife, including snakes and alligators,” a spokesperson said.

The investigation is ongoing.

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