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Foster child disappears, found drowned in pond

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on Mon, 04/23/2012 - 11:27
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Foster child disappears, found drowned in pond

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - A 9-year-old autistic girl went missing Saturday afternoon, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

According to officials, Ariyanna Pivachek was a foster child. She was visiting a possible adoptive family. The family had picked her up to attend a party with other children.

Authorities say there were several adults monitoring the children. Somehow, the little girl managed to wander away from the party. She went into the backyard of the home.

Just after 3:30 p.m. the family reported the girl missing. Deputies began an immediate search for the little girl.

Close to 50 deputies, several K-9 units, air support and divers searched for the missing child.

Several ponds made up the backyard containing murky water. Divers searched for an hour before she was found at the bottom of one of the ponds.

Officials say the girl was found in six- eight feet deep of water.

During the search, several uniformed deputies took off their gun belts and dove into the ponds trying to find her. Authorities said many civilians volunteered in the search.

Preliminary cause of death is accidental drowning. The sheriff's office is conducting a death investigation.

Final ruling on cause of death is expected from the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office