Police in Jacksonville, Florida discovered the body of a missing 3-year-old boy in an underground water storage tank hours just hours after the child vanished from a family gathering on Sunday. Amari Harley was last seen playing at a birthday party in a city park where the water storage tank is located.
“Frankly, we do not know how he got into this water holding tank,” Assistant Chief Scott Dingee of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on Sunday, as reported by People. “The opening was large enough for someone to fit inside, so they were concerned he may have gone in there.”
Workers were seen putting new covers on the water tank this past Monday, CBS affiliate WJAX reports. A city spokesperson told FOX30 that the tank had a bolt on it. But, there are speculations that the tank wasn’t properly covered.
One of Harley’s relatives took a photo on Sunday of what appears plastic cover over the water tank. According to FOX30, local man Marques Burney said he also saw a plastic lid on the tank, just three days before Amari’s body was discovered. He said he accidently stepped on the lid.
"I was walking and noticed that it was loose," Burney said. "Almost fell in. I covered it back up and I walked away.”
He blames the covering for causing the child’s death.
Investigators told CBS affiliate WJAX that a tip led them to search the underground water tank. The tank was located at the same park where the birthday party was held. It was drained of water before Harley’s body was found.