Galveston police following leads after child's body found on beach

- Galveston police say ever since they released a sketch of a child whose body was found on the beach, they’ve been inundated with tips. They have opened a murder investigation as they follow up on those leads, but the mystery of who the little boy was and how he died remains.

“He was alone, you know, and nobody knows anything, and it’s just sad,” said Carol Jagneaux, a Galveston resident who left a memorial of flowers and a candle on the beach after seeing the child’s sketch on the news. “It’s just very sad for his little soul.”

Police say someone walking on the beach Friday evening found the boy’s body in the sand about 20 to 30 feet from the tide line. The boy’s body was found near the 700 block of Seawall Boulevard, within eyesight of several bars and restaurants.

Police say the boy is believed to be between 3 and 5 years old, Hispanic, just over 30 pounds, with dark hair and brown eyes.

Investigators are still awaiting the results of an autopsy which they hope will give them clues as to how the child died.

“There was no overt signs of mass trauma, so there was no missing limbs or giant lacerations or contusions—nothing like that,” said Capt. Joshua Schirard. “That’s not to say that there wasn’t any signs of trauma, and a lot of that will be revealed by the medical examiner’s office.”

Police say so far it’s hard to tell how long the boy has been dead.

“A lot of times the salt water can actually preserve a body longer, so it makes it appear as though it hasn’t been dead as long as it actually has, but exposure to the elements can rapidly accelerate the decomposure,” said Schirard.

Three days into the investigation, no one has come forward to identify the child.

“A 3 to 4-year-old child is always accompanied—has to always be accompanied—so to have no family come forward, to have no one be able to identify this child, is really the biggest mystery here,” said Schirard.

Police say a large number of the tips they received were about a missing 3-year-old Tennessee boy with a striking resemblance to the sketch. However, police say that boy was found and the case was closed. So the mystery of the Galveston child continues, and police are asking the public for help.

If anyone has any information concerning this case, or the identity of this child please call 409-765-3776 or Crimestoppers at 409-763-TIPS.

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