Update as of 5pm on 10/10/23:

From the Clinton County Sheriff's Office Facebook page:

It is with great sadness that we are reporting that the missing child was located deceased. There will be a press conference near the Clinton County Incident Command trailer on Bauer Rd just north of Clark Rd at 5:30pm. At this time further details may be released. Please pray for the family during this tragic time.

This story will be updated as further information becomes available.


Hundreds of people have joined the search for a missing 2.5-year-old Clinton County boy who authorities say wandered away from his home on Monday while his babysitter was showering. The toddler, whose name is Jermaine, is said to be autistic and non-verbal.

Authorities told WILX News 10 that despite their efforts overnight, they were unable to locate the child.

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More About the Missing Autistic Clinton County Boy

Jermaine has long, curly black hair and was reportedly last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt and gray/blue shorts. He wasn't wearing any socks or shoes when he disappeared. He went missing in rural Clinton County near the intersection of Clark Rd. and S. Bauer Rd. in Watertown Township, less than a quarter-mile from the Looking Glass River.

Photos via GoogleMaps and Canva
Photos via GoogleMaps and Canva

As of Tuesday morning, officials with the Clinton County Sheriff's Office were advising residents who live in the immediate area to "please check your outbuildings, vehicles, trees, etc. The missing boy is reported to also be a climber and could be in a tree or any other elevated structure." Residents with outdoor cameras are also being asked to review their footage for any signs of the boy.

Nearby farmers paused harvesting activities in the event the lost boy had wandered into their fields. Drones have been deployed to assist in the search. Volunteers with kayaks have also been canvassing the Looking Glass River.

Why Was No AMBER Alert Issued?

Several residents have inquired as to why police did not issue an AMBER Alert upon learning of the missing child.

AMBER Alerts are not issued in the case of every missing child. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, AMBER Alerts may be issued under the following circumstances, among others:

  • There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
  • The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.

The case of the missing autistic boy in Clinton County does not meet these criteria.

Can the Community Help?

Civilian teams of searchers gathered at Watertown Township Hall on Tuesday morning before fanning out to look for the missing toddler. Anyone with any information is urged to call 911 or the Clinton County Sheriff's Office at 989-224-5200.

Authorities are keeping the public apprised of the latest developments here.

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