Missing boy found dead in Massachusetts lake

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WESTFORD — A 6-year-old autistic boy who went missing from his home Sunday night was found dead early Monday in a nearby lake, authorities said.

Zayan Mayanja, who was non-verbal, escaped through a window of his residence on Chestnut Road in the Nabnasset section of Westford around 9:12 p.m. Sunday, according to police.

After an extensive search involving multiple law enforcement agencies, Zayan was located in Nabnasset Lake behind a residence on Lake Shore Drive South at approximately 12:08 a.m. Monday.

Officers immediately began CPR, but Zayan was later pronounced dead at Lowell General Hospital.

The Westford Police Department and Massachusetts State Police are investigating the incident.

Search efforts included K-9 units, drones, boats and a state police helicopter.

Authorities also issued a reverse 911 alert to area residents.

The Westford Police Department expressed condolences to Zayan’s family and thanked assisting agencies and local residents for their help during the search.

Grief counselors will be available for the Westford Public Schools community, where Zayan was a student.

Police encouraged local families with autistic or cognitively impaired members to register for the department’s cognitive alert program to assist in potential future searches.

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