Boy, 5, dies after being pulled from canal behind Lauderhill home

Zander Brown pronounced dead at hospital

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – A 5-year-old boy who was found in a canal behind his Lauderhill home died Sunday night, police said.

Lauderhill police said late Sunday on Twitter that doctors were unable to save Zander Brown.

Lt. Mike Santiago said Zander's mother told police she last saw him about 6:45 p.m. inside their home on Northwest 85th Avenue near Northwest 52nd Street. She had been in front of the house while other family members were outside, and when she returned inside, she noticed Zander was no longer there.

Santiago said family members noticed the back sliding door was unlocked and called police about 7:15 p.m.

Divers from Lauderhill and Sunrise searched for Zander, along with the help of Broward Sheriff's Office bloodhounds.

Santiago said divers found Zander in the water behind the home. Zander was taken to Broward Health Coral Springs, where he was later pronounced dead.

Zander was autistic and those with autism are usually drawn to water, according to experts. 

Fredicka Laguerre, who lives in the area and has a brother with autism, said a tragedy like this has always been one of her greatest fears.

"With autism, you can't really tell how to control it, but at times, you just really have to keep your eyes open and watch out, because we are a neighborhood and we really have to stay together as a community," Laguerre said. "I just really hope the parents of Zander can find some peace."

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