Missing Kershaw County Teen Found Dead

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By Crysty Vaughan
By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)-- "It's horrible," says Rebecca Jones, helped search for missing teen.

Friday morning residents in the community around Pine Grove school, near Elgin, reacted to the news that 15 year old Devan Williams was dead.

"When it's a child, it's a child. It don't matter who it is, it hurts," says Gloria Wages, also helped search for Williams

Williams was a student at Pine Grove. According to the school's website, it's a residential care facility and school for children ages 6-18 with autism, developmental delays and pervasive developmental disorders.

"People care about the school, they give to the kids, they bring Christmas, they bring holiday stuff, they're there for the kids," says Jones

Jones, who says she previously worked at the school, helped search for Williams Friday. But, the search wasn't the first involving Williams, according to authorities, he went missing two years ago but was found safe.

"He's a runner, that's just the type of kid he is," says Jones.

As for today, the school says in a statement, an alarm went off around 5:30 Friday morning signaling a child was moving. The staff then noticed Williams was gone and called authorities.

Police took to the ground and skies in search of the teen, but a homeowner would make the tragic discovery just before noon.

"She had been in her backyard to check her outbuilding and as she walked by her swimming pool, she found the young man in the bottom of the pool," says Sheriff Jim Matthews, Kershaw County Sheriff's Office.

Williams was dead and tonight the community is grieving.

"It's something you don't want to hear, not as a mother or as a person or anything else," says Jones.

Sheriff Matthews says Williams' parents live in Columbia and he stayed overnight at the school.

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TAMARA LANGLEY CARLISLE said on Sunday, Jun 16 at 4:54 AM

I am so sorry for their loss. My prayers.

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hootie said on Saturday, Jun 15 at 2:55 AM

Negligence at the school....who was 'on watch'? Sure some salaried individual was. A death that did NOT have to happen. Why not post an employee by all entrance/exits 24/7...no money....that's an EXCUSE...

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Angela Cowdrick said on Friday, Jun 14 at 5:10 PM

I wish local YMCA or YWCA's would offer swimming classes for children with autism and other disabilities free of charge. I can't afford what they want me to pay, and I don't have a pool to teach him myself. If he wanders and is near water, there is little we can do if we are not there.

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Pat said on Friday, Jun 14 at 4:00 PM

Prayers for the family and young man I no all to well how hard it is.and to be found either insurance don't cover what they need or it just isn't available for you ,Its sad and there so many sites that talk about it and helping but I myself have yet to find one to help with special equipment ect.

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LifePROTEKT said on Friday, Jun 14 at 3:51 PM

Our hearts go out to this young man and his family and pray for him in heaven.

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Hilda Hernandez said on Friday, Jun 14 at 3:22 PM

MY CONDOLENCE GOES OUT TO HIS FAMILY ,I WILL JOIN U FROM NYC SO THIS WONT HAPPEN NEVER AGAIN ,I HAVE ONE NEPHEW AT HOME ONE STEP GRANDSON COMMITED SUDICIDE AGE 19 FEB.1,2013

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Rose said on Friday, Jun 14 at 2:23 PM

Prayers for his family, and his teachers. I know he was loved.

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Regina Mixon said on Friday, Jun 14 at 1:53 PM

Prayers for this young man and his family. Many of us in the Autism community are working on how to prevent this from happening. Too many of our special children are dying.

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