CARLSBAD, N.M. – State police in New Mexico said the body of a young boy has been recovered from a narrow, deep hole in Carlsbad.
Spokesman Robert McDonald said police confirm the body is 4-year-old Samuel Jones, who disappeared Saturday from his southeastern New Mexico home.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported that officers reached Jones at about 6:30 a.m.
Recovery efforts began Sunday afternoon, with a large tracked excavator, along with metal shoring typically used in pipeline construction projects. A specialized search and rescue team from Roswell went to Carlsbad to oversee the operations.
A renewed house-to-house search had just started shortly after daybreak Sunday morning when a detective found the 14-inch-wide hole in the backyard of the home next door to Samuel's house.
A detective shined his flashlight down the hole and saw what appeared to be a body dressed in clothing Samuel was last wearing. Searchers later sent a camera down the hole and confirmed a child was about 30 feet down.
An Amber Alert in effect for him was canceled Sunday night.
The boy's mother and father were told of the discovery while at the scene.
Samuel lives in the home with his parents and two older siblings, a boy and girl, ages 6 and 7. Some young cousins were at the house Saturday when the boy was last seen playing in the yard.
The rural neighborhood is a mix of homes and vacant lots. A four-foot chain link fence separates the boy's home from his neighbor's. Lt. Jennifer Moyers, a Carlsbad Police spokeswoman, says it's possible the boy could have climbed the fence and simply fallen into the hole, which was dry and may be deeper than where the body was wedged. There are no curbs or sidewalks in the neighborhood on the city's south side.
The Associated Press and Newscore contributed to this report.