Minnesota News

Hopkins police: Missing 4-year-old found dead in Minnehaha Creek; ‘horrible accident’

Police in front of fire truck
Craig Kreiling, Hopkins police captain, at a press conference Monday.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Hopkins police searching for a missing 4-year-old said Monday the boy was found dead in Minnehaha Creek, about 500 yards downstream from his apartment building and is believed to have drowned.

“While we believe this was a tragic accident, we will be continuing our investigation … to determine the exact cause of death,” Hopkins police Capt. Craig Kreiling told reporters in the early afternoon.

The boy, identified by police as Waeys Mohamed, was located at about 10:40 a.m. Monday morning by a volunteer searcher, Kreiling told reporters. He offered condolences to the boy’s family and the larger Somali community.

Waeys went missing on Sunday. The evidence shows the boy left his apartment building “on his own accord and there is no room to try and blame anybody else right now,” Kreiling added, noting that he was responding to rumors on social media. “This is a horrible, tragic accident from everything we are able to determine.”

Kreiling said investigators don’t know yet if Waeys walked into the creek or fell in, and they don’t yet know exactly where he entered the water. “Right now, unfortunately, we have some high water. We have a lot of rain. That creek is moving very quickly and it’s not unheard of for that to happen.”

During the search, authorities had described Waeys as a person with autism who was nonverbal and easily scared by loud noises and crowds.

Neighbor Nasra Mohamed said there was a surge of support from the community as they attempted to find the boy.

"A lot of people come from everywhere, everywhere come and volunteer in looking for the boy,” Mohamed said. “It's something very, very sad for our community, for all Americans, because innocent and 4 years old baby with autism, he cannot even control himself."

MPR News reporter Matt Sepic contributed to this story.