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Failure of temporary dam complicates search for child

July 21, 2021 GMT

MARRERO, La. (AP) — The failure of a temporary dam in a canal near New Orleans has complicated the difficult search for the remains of a 4-year-old boy.

The earthen dam had been built to help drain part of the canal in the Jean Lafitte National Park, where Ellis Baudean disappeared last Thursday.

But New Orleans news outlets report that the dam failed Tuesday night. In a Facebook post, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto’s office said that about half of the water was drained, temporarily allowing searchers access to areas that were previously hidden under the murky water. The search resumed Wednesday using unmanned underwater equipment.

Baudean disappeared while at the park with his mother and a younger sibling. Lopinto has said foul play is not suspected in the disappearance of the child, who was described as being non-verbal and autistic.