Police: Body of Girl with Autism Found in Creek

The news many feared came Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Friends had hoped their classmate, Mikaela Lynch, 9, a girl with autism, would have been found. Instead, her body was found in Cache Creek on Wednesday afternoon. Jean Elle reports. (Published Thursday, May 16, 2013)

    Clearlake police announced on Wednesday that they had found the body of a 9-year-old girl in a creek near her parent's vacation home.

    The grim discovery in Cache Creek had been what Mikaela Lynch's parents had dreaded. Their daughter, who has autism and the mental capacity of a 1-year-old girl, had wandered off on Sunday afternoon and hadn't been seen since.

    Child's Body Found in Cache Creek

    [BAY] Child's Body Found in Cache Creek
    Jodi Hernandez reports on the upsetting discovery in the waters of Clear Lake. (Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013)

    "Unfortunately, we have a conclusion to the search," said Clearlake Police Chief Craig Clausen.

    A search and dive rescue team found the girl's body in the Lake County creek before noon. Clausen said her family asked to be left alone.

    RAW VIDEO: Police Chief Announces Body Found

    [BAY] RAW VIDEO: Police Chief Announces Body Found
    The body of a missing child was found in the bottom of Cache Creek Wednesday morning not far from the family's home. (Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013)

    He himself was having a hard time facing reporters and answering their questions. "It's difficult for me to even stand here and speak," he said.

    Her classmates in San Francisco at Sunset Elementary School had hoped she would have been found.

    Volunteers, Crews Target Search for Girl, 9, With Autism

    [bay] Volunteers, Crews Target Search for Girl, 9, With Autism
    Crews from California and Nevada came to help search for Mikaela Lynch, 9, a girl with autism who has been missing since Sunday in Clearlake, Lake County. Terry McSweeney reports. (Published Friday, May 17, 2013)

    "It's sad, they found her in the water," said Parent Byron Chin.

    Mikaela was reported missing on Sunday afternoon by her family. 

    Surveillance Camera Changes Direction of Lake County Search

    [BAY] Surveillance Camera Changes Direction of Lake County Search
    The search expanded Tuesday for a 9-year-old girl with autism who disappeared from her family s vacation home near Clearlake, in Lake County. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Friday, May 17, 2013)

    She had been playing in the yard with her brother who went inside to get away from a bee and then she likely wandered off. 

    Hundreds of volunteers and public safety officers had fanned out looking for her around the clock since Sunday.

    Search Underway for Missing Autistic Girl

    [BAY] Search Underway for Missing Autistic Girl
    Hundreds of volunteers prepare for search for a missing autistic girl from the Bay Area, who disappeared from her family's vacation home in Clearlake on Sunday. (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013)

    Clear Lake is a city about 120 north of San Francisco. Clear Lake, the lake, is the largest natural freshwater lake entirely in California. Its sole outlet is Cache Creek.

    Mikaela liked water but did not know how to swim.

    Police were told she often removed her clothes when she was hot.

    They found articles of her clothing in the yard.

    A surveillance video from a neighbor's house showed her running toward land, but in the end, that turned out not to be the case.

     NBC Bay Area's Jean Elle, Christie Smith and Jodi Hernandez contributed to this report.