By Talia Kaplan
Published August 28, 2019
A 3-year-old Missouri girl who went missing earlier this week has been found dead in a pond, fire officials said Wednesday.
The Mountain Grove Fire Department had noted Tuesday on Facebook that the girl, ID'd as "Vivian," disappeared in Mountain Grove, about an hour from Springfield.
According to Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), Vivian Fitzenrider “walked away from her residence” in Mountain Grove around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“An extensive search was conducted throughout the night,” according to MSHP.
Investigators said the search included more than 200 first responders and citizen volunteers as well as a police dog.
A marine enforcement trooper found Fitzenrider’s body in a pond around 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, not far from where she was reported missing, according to MSHP.
The Mountain Grove Fire Department had a new Facebook post on Wednesday: “Hundreds of people from our community came out and searched. I know we all hoped that she would be found safe, but it is not what God had planned.”
The fire department wrote, “Our prayers now are with Vivian's Family, Friends and Community,” adding that “we are asking our community to wrap this family in prayers for peace and understanding in the coming days and forward from there.”
MSHP said an investigation is ongoing.