Tri-City Ledger -

By Gretchen McPherson
Staff Writer 

4-year old drowns in pond


October 21, 2021

An autistic child who was being cared for by foster parents in Jay went missing Oct. 16 and was later found in a pond about 150 yards from the home the victim of an apparent drowning.

According to a Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office report, 4-year-old Jameson Ray Willis was taking a nap when foster parent William Cozart checked on him in his bedroom located at 4830 Cozart Lane. About 10 minutes later, when Cozart went to check on him again, the child was missing.

The report said the home's front door was locked and barricaded due to the child being autistic.

When Cozart discovered the child was missing, he and his daughter, Jennifer Taylor, began searching for Willis. They found the child in a pond on the property, pulled him out and Cozart began CPR.

Deputies responding to a medical emergency arrived on scene along with the volunteer fire department. Life Flight arrived and transported Willis to Sacred Heart Hospital.

At this time, this case is being investigated as an accidental drowning.


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