Police release cause of death for 3-year-old boy with autism found dead in Chesapeake neighborhood

Posted at 10:18 PM, Oct 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-28 17:46:23-04

Chesapeake, Va. - A search for a missing 3-year-old boy in Chesapeake came to an end late last night when a dive team pulled his body from a marshy waterway.

It has now been determined that Cameron died as a result of drowning. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding this case.

They were notified at 6:17 p.m. about the boy's disappearance.

Cameron Thomas, who has autism, climbed out of a window in his home while his dad was in the shower just before 6 pm.

A desperate plea from his mother on Facebook generated a huge response as hundreds in the community gathered to help in their search for him. Authorities operated out of a command center at G.A. Treakle Elementary School, which Cameron attended.

NewsChannel 3 spoke with his godmother, Shelby Stewart, who confirmed he climbed out of the window of the home.

She said Cameron's shoe was found in the back of the neighborhood near a playground.

"He wasn't being watched at the current moment because his parents were busy. The mom was running errands and his dad was in the shower. He is borderline autistic," said Stewart. "He is very quiet and keeps to himself a lot. We just want to get the word out to the community. Come help us find him. He's a beautiful blond haired, blue eyed baby, three-years-old, and we are sending out prayers that it will just get better from here."

Steward said a pizza delivery driver saw Cameron at a nearby 7-Eleven but only caught a glimpse of him. The driver did not know that the child was missing at the time.

Crews in Virginia Beach helped in the search with a helicopter circling the area.

Volunteers held hands in prayer as Cameron's body was removed from the water.

A family friend has set up a GoFundMe account to help Cameron's family pay for funeral costs.An extremely sad ending but a story that showed the power of community after hundreds turned out to help in the search for Cameron.

Overwhelming sadness on Wednesday after an ending that no one wanted and many people are still in shock about what happened.
Lisa McClanahan helped search for the little boy Tuesday.  Wednesday she decided to come back out to the scene and tearfully said,  "I came to the spot where they found that little boy last night. I saw them bring him out of the water and I just had to come back to the daylight."
Hundred of people came out to help with the search yesterday and came armed with rain gear, flashlights, and hope.
They people arrived in Chesapeake and came from cities all over Hampton Roads.
“They had this whole lake surrounded,” said Robert Artist, a neighbor.
"The community, I can't say we are tight knit.  We are all a community and we help one another.  It doesn’t matter black white Hispanic, child or adult when someone goes missing we all want to help that is how it should be," said McClanahan .