A 2-year-old girl, reported missing Wednesday in Lake County, was found dead hours later in an open septic tank at a Fruitland Park home.
Police said a family was in the process of moving out of their Jewell Street home, which is off Miller Boulevard, just west of U.S. Highway 27. Friends were helping with the move while young kids played in the backyard.
Around 11:30 a.m., a family member noticed the girl was missing.
When officers arrived, they secured the scene and began searching the property.
A police dog alerted officers to an open septic tank. The girl was found dead inside.
“For a 2-year-old girl to pass away the way she did, it was heartbreaking,” said neighbor Alan Akins.
“In my opinion, some charges or something has to be done because that was senseless and something could have easily been put over it to cover it up,” said Mark Whales, a neighbor.
Whales said someone hit the tank with a truck last summer. He said he had complained to the city as recently as Monday about the smell and the potential safety issue.
Police are conducting an unattended death investigation.
The toddler’s name has not yet been released.