Neighbors heartbroken over disappearance of 3-year-old boy

Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 9:40 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2023 at 11:13 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Sheriff’s Office found a body during the search for a missing 3-year-old.

The identity of the body has not yet been revealed, but it is believed to be of 3-year-old Israel Powell.

Deputies were called to the area of East Holmes Road near Hacks Cross Road where a child went missing early Friday morning.

Israel Powell, 3, was last seen on Laurel Springs Drive.

He is 2 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighs 35 pounds.

The child has brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a black shirt and multicolored socks.

SCSO spokesman John Morris says deputies were called to the area around 1 a.m. Friday where a neighbor spotted children walking around.

The children’s mother called the sheriff’s office around 5 a.m. to say her children were missing.

“It’s just a heartbreaking thing to hear,” said Charles Fox. “Disturbing. You don’t want that to happen to anybody.”

Angela Majors lives in the neighborhood off Hacks Cross and East Holmes... and says her neighbor called 911 around 1:00 AM after seeing the children on her doorbell camera...

“She saw some kids running through her yard and they called to see if my kids were out and I said no mine are in the house so we started just talking and wondering what’s going on,” said Angela Majors.

Deputies began knocking on doors and speaking with neighbors like Charles Fox shortly after.

“A deputy [came] to the door around 2:00 this morning,” said Fox. “He had his phone and he asked if I had seen this kid or if I knew him. I didn’t”

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says Israel and his 4-year-old sibling were reported missing by their mother around 5:00 Friday morning.

The 4-year-old child was found safe.

Search and rescue teams discovered a body hours later.. around 1:00 in Jaimeson Lake, just over half a mile from the kids’ home on Laurel Springs Drive.

“You hate when something happens just close to home anyway but that was literally just close to home,” said Majors.

Majors and other neighbors are devastated.

Many in the community are still holding out hope for Israel’s safe return.

“I have grandkids, 3, 4, and 5-year-old grandkids that will come outside sometimes. My daughter right there just said ‘Mama the kids can’t go outside no more.’ It has really just put a shock into everybody.”

The family members were too emotional to talk about the discovery.

The sheriff’s office has not yet identified the body recovered from that lake, and they would not comment on whether or not anyone is in custody in connection to this investigation.

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