COCONINO COUNTY, Ariz. — Preliminary reports indicate a 5-year-old Colorado City boy died of exposure after going missing near Jacob Lake, Ariz. Thursday afternoon.
Jerold Joseph Williams’ body was found Monday at 4:30 p.m. 15-20 feet off Forest Service Road 240 by a group of volunteer searchers from Colorado City, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
Jerold was camping with about 20 friends and family members in the northern part of Kaibab National Forest, about 12 miles south of the lake when he went missing.
The boy’s body was found about 3.7 miles from where he was was last seen. However, by road it was about 8.6 miles from where he was last seen.
“He was found fully clothed with no obvious external injuries and there was no evidence of foul play indicated at the scene,” according to a release from the sheriff’s office.
Officials say the weather turned inclement early during the time Jerold went missing. An autopsy performed Tuesday showed the boy’s death appeared to be accidental due to environmental exposure.
At least 1,000 people assisted in the search for Jerold that lasted five days and four nights.
In addition to community volunteers, state, local and federal agencies assisted in the search.