Body of Vihaan Pullamsetti Found in Weston Canal, Officials Say
Broward Sheriff's Office announced that the body of Vihaan Pullamsetti, the 18-month-old Tampa boy who went missing Sunday night from a Weston apartment complex, has been found in a canal not far from where he had last been seen.
The body was found in a canal behind the complex at 9:40 a.m. Monday, BSO Sheriff Scott Israel said in a news conference.
Israel says a neighbor spotted the body and notified authorities.
BSO said on Sunday that Pullamsetti was reported missing about 4 p.m. from the apartment complex in Weston where he and his family had been visiting for Halloween weekend. Authorities said the boy had gone missing during a relative's birthday party. At least one report says the boy's mother believed he may have opened the apartment door and wandered out during the family gathering.
Pullamsetti's disappearance prompted BSO to use helicopters and police dogs to search around the complex, located in the 400 block of Lakeview Drive. BSO said that its concern had been the canals and ponds around the complex. BSO also dispatched divers to hit the area's canals and ponds.
"We'll dive all night if we have to," Israel told the media Sunday night.
Friends of the family and neighbors — about 100 in total — soon joined in the search carrying flashlights and combed the entire area, which lasted into Monday morning.
"Like any family, they began frantically looking for their young son; they got others involved," Israel said.
On Monday morning, Broward officials announced that BSO had called off the search after Pullamsetti's body had been found.
The City of Weston tweeted out information on Pullamsetti and thanked volunteers who helped in the search.
Any Volunteers to search for child - we appreciate the help -please remember to bring water, hat or sunscreen— City of Weston (@CityofWeston) November 2, 2015
A family spokesperson said the outpouring of support meant everything to the family.
"This is very, very unfortunate," the spokesperson said. "Vihann was a very loving child. A very active kid. And we don't have him know."
"This community came together like never before," a somber Israel said. "This family is grieving, as you can imagine. Please respect their privacy."
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.