Family heartbroken after 4-year-old girl found dead in pond

Police found the body of 4-year-old Chelsea Noel in a pond near her house. (WPEC)

Deputies made a heartbreaking discovery after police found the body of a missing four-year-old girl in Port St. Lucie.

Authorities recovered the body of Chelsea Noel from a pond near her house early Monday morning.

Her father returned to that pond later in the day where he was overcome with grief.

“I had to come here and see the final days of the life of my daughter; this is where her final days were but I know she is in God’s hands,” Remy Noel said.

Noel dropped to his knees in tears alongside that pond where just 12 hours earlier deputies found his daughter's body.

Deputies say the little girl, who is autistic and nonverbal, wandered away from the family’s home just a few blocks up the road.

It happened shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday.

Her father told deputies he realized she was missing about a minute later and took off after her but it was too dark outside. He could not see which direction she ran.

“The community, they did everything they could,” Noel said. “The love and the uplifting support. The police department, everybody came together,” he said.

Noel says his daughter was sweet and kind and that she loved to be held.

He said he looked forward to driving her to school every morning.

“Man, do you know how I feel this morning at 7:30? My phone rings and I have nobody. I have nobody,” he said.

Deputies say right now they are using surveillance video from nearby homes to get a better idea as to what exactly happened but it appears to be just a tragic accident.

They think she got disoriented when she left the house and walked into the pond.

An autopsy will be done Monday.

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