POSTED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 4:59pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 12:19pm
SMITH COUNTY — UPDATE (9:51 PM): The death of the 2 yr. old little boy in Smith County is now being treated as a homicide. However, Smith Co. District Attorney Matt Bingham tells KETK, all cases like this are investigated as homicides unless evidence proves otherwise.
Bingham says, they are in the very early stages of the investigation. And because of that, they can't say it's accidental. They will now collect evidence, talk with witnesses, wait on the autopsy results and continue their investigation.
At this time, Bingham tells KETK, everyone is considered a "person of interest." He says, they are looking at everyone, including Jacob's parents, until evidence says they're not involved. No one, at this time, is considered a suspect.
UPDATE (5:30pm): Authorities with Child Protective Services tell KETK, the other children in the home were removed around 5:00pm on Wednesday.
They will be placed in foster care.
UPDATE (2:28pm): The toddler was found in a fiberglass septic, according to Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Judge Mitch Shamburger.
The boy's body has been sent to Dallas for autopsy. The results are expected by the end of this week.
Judge Shamburger could not say whether the death was accidential or if foul play was involved.
UPDATE (1:40pm): Sanitation trucks are currently pulling into the area where the toddler's body was found.
A heartbreaking ending in the overnight search for a missing Smith County toddler.
The Smith County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the body of Jacob Kimbley, 2, was discovered at about 1:15 am Wednesday morning in a wooded area near his home.
Kimbley went missing from his home on FM 16 near Winona just before 2:00 pm on Tuesday, setting off a search that involved a team of over 150 emergency responders and volunteers. Search and rescue teams used 4-wheelers, helicopters and horse-mounted deputies to aid in the search.
At about 7:00 pm Tuesday night, searchers said they had found Kimbley's footprints in the mud of a creek, sparking hope that he might be found soon. However, night fell and the search continued until his body was discovered.
Authorities say Kimbley disappeared while playing hide and seek with two other children, who are unharmed. Kimbley was described as non-verbal and mentally challenged.
The investigation into his death is now underway, spearheaded by the Smith County Sheriff's Office. No information on how Kimbley died or whether foul play was involved has been released. His family has been notified of his death.
Child Protective Services tells KETK they will investigate this case.
According to Smith County deputies, no arrests have been made in connection to this case.
ORIGINAL STORY: Smith County officials are searching for a missing toddler in the Winona area.
The child is a two year old white boy, about three feet tall, wearing a striped onesie with khaki shorts and no shoes.
Officials tell KETK, the child, Jacob, is mentally disabled, and does not speak.
The boy went missing around 2:00pm on Tuesday from a private residence on FM 16, just off of Highway 271.
Smith County officials say that the child was reportedly playing hide and seek when he went missing, no word on whether the child was being supervised at that time. Two other children were also playing hide and seek, but are unharmed.
Crews are searching a wooded area. A helicopter search has also been initiated, along with several fire departments and at least twenty response vehicles.
KETK has crews on the scene. We'll be sure to update as more information becomes available.