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Missing Wisconsin Boy Found Dead in Pond

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2007 – A 7-year-old Wood County, Wis., boy who’d been reported missing since June 14 has been found dead, a Wisconsin official said today.

Benjamin Heil was the subject of a massive search conducted over the past several days by state and local officials, including Wisconsin and Michigan National Guard helicopters.

Heil’s body was discovered by search dogs late this morning in a small pond located not far from his home in Saratoga, Wis., said Keith Tveit, fire service coordinator for the state of Wisconsin’s emergency management office.

The outcome of the search for the boy “was not what we were looking for,” Tveit said.

Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters had flown daytime search missions June 15, 16 and 17, and during several hours yesterday, Wisconsin National Guard spokeswoman Jackie Guthrie said during a phone interview with American Forces Press Service earlier today.

The Michigan National Guard provided an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter to search at night, Guthrie said.

A canine search dog took his handler to the pond where Heil was found, Tveit said.

“It was very emotional” when news reached the searchers that Heil’s body had been discovered, Tveit said.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death, Tveit said.

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