CLEARLAKE, Lake County (CBS SF) – A 9-year-old autistic girl from San Francisco was found dead Wednesday in a creek after she went missing in Lake County.
Mikaela Renee Lynch was last seen by her family jumping on a trampoline in the backyard of the family’s vacation home in Clearlake on Sunday.
Her body was found in Cache Creek, which runs near the vacation home at 15197 Harbor Drive, according to Clearlake Police Sgt. Nick Bassett.
Members of a dive team found the girl’s body just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Bassett said. There was no sign of foul play and authorities didn’t believe the girl was abducted.
Police said Mikaela was in her backyard with her brother on Sunday when he was scared by a bee and ran inside.
A security camera video from a neighbor’s home had shown the girl running naked along Harbor Drive on Sunday afternoon after leaving the backyard to her family’s home.
The girl’s family said she had a habit of removing her clothing.
Police said at the time of her disappearance that the girl was unable to speak and had the mental capacity of a 1-year-old. She apparently liked the water, but did not swim.
Hundreds of searchers, including volunteers and police, had scoured the area in a massive effort to look for the girl after she disappeared.
Terri Larson who volunteered in the search from the Seventh Day Adventist Church said she’s never seen anything like this tragedy in the community.
“To see the way the response was handled and the quality of people that turned out from all over Northern California the gratitude from people all around here is just phenomenal,” she said.
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