Name: Alexis Wartena.
Died: July 19, 2016.
Age at death: 7.
Cause of death: Accidental drowning.
Location: Amarillo, Texas, USA.
When Alexis went missing, her parents called police for help. But instead of helping the family search, the police detained her family and questioned them. When the search was finally started, Alexis was found dead, drowned in a nearby pond.
Editor’s note: To say I found this case unusual is an understatement. In the typical autistic wandering/drowning death, the police don’t suspect the family–so much so that some killers have tried to disguise a murder as a wandering/drowning death. But in this case, the police suspected the family so strongly that they delayed the search for Alexis until she was already dead. Whether the police’s delay in searching for Alexis while questioning her family was responsible for her death, or whether it just caused distress to the family, cannot be known for sure. Regardless, even though they suspected the family, they should have run the search simultaneously with the questioning, not delayed it. When an autistic child goes missing, time is of the essence.
Texas Police Detain Family who Called for Help Instead of Searching for Missing Autistic Girl who Later was Found Drowned
Family of Drowned Girl Plans to File Lawsuit Against Amarillo Police