BREAKING: Body of missing 10-year-old special needs child recovered from nearby pond in Covington

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UPDATE: The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of missing 10-year-old Avani Cook at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night – five hours after the special needs child was reported missing by her mother.

According to the STPSO report, the girl apparently entered a nearby pond and drowned.

This is an ongoing investigation, but at this time, but investigators with the Major Crimes Division have yet to uncover any evidence that would indicate the child’s drowning is anything other than an accident.

“This is a horrible tragedy and my sincere condolences and sympathy goes to the family of the young girl lost, and for everyone who was involved with doing all they could to locate her safely,” said Sheriff Randy Smith.

“Unfortunately, that was not the case, and the loss of a young precious life affects our entire community. We will all continue to pray that God provides comfort for the family.”

COVINGTON, La. (WGNO) — Local law enforcement authorities are currently searching a “heavily wooded area” north of Covington for a 10-year-old special needs child, who went missing Saturday afternoon.

Avani Clark (Photo: STPSO)

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office say deputies are looking for Avani Cook after her mother called 911 shortly after 2:30 p.m. when her daughter disappeared from outside her home in the 25000 block of North Davis Road.

According to the report, the missing girl stands approximately 4-foot tall and weighs 70 pounds, was playing with her mother and dog. Her mother reportedly went inside for a moment and when she returned, the dog was in the yard, but her daughter was gone.

The girl is described as having dirty blonde hair and hazel eyes. She is non-verbal and suffers from medical conditions that may inhibit her ability to get around.

STPSO K9 deputies are also on scene assisting with the search along with more than 15 deputies on foot and ATV.

Anyone who may see the child in the area, is asked to contact the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office by calling 911 or (985) 898-2338 immediately.

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