BELDING (WWJ) – The death of a 10-year-old western Michigan boy who disappeared while fishing has been ruled an accidental drowning.

Chief Dale Nelson on Tuesday released preliminary results from an autopsy of Devon Morrison.

Talking to WWJ’s Sandra McNeil, Nelson said everyone in the town knew Devon, who played baseball with his son.

“A real good kid; high energy,” Nelson said. “Devon got up and he got a hit, got on base, and both benches stood up and parents were cheering. And, like I told his mom, I said it was like Devon had just won the World Series.”

A fifth-grader at Woodview Elementary School, Devon was last seen Saturday as he headed for the Flat River from his nearby home with a fishing pole.  Police have said Devon would regularly fish alone at the river, which is only about 700 feet from his house.

Local authorities — with help from the FBI and state police — searched the river on Sunday with boats and helicopters. Divers on Monday found the boy’s body near the Ashfield Street bridge in Belding, about 25 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.

Nelson said Devon was a passionate fisherman and liked to wade out into the water even though he wasn’t a strong swimmer, so the cause of his death is not a surprise.

He said Devon’s mother is holding up the best that she can.

“It was not the outcome any of us were looking for,” said Belding, “but she said she was relieved we were able to locate him.”


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