A GoFundMe account has been set up “In Memory of Javontay Maurice Reed” with a goal of $20,000. There was $6,260 raised as of mid-day on June 11. Those interested in donating can visit www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-javontay-maurice-reed.
Searchers June 4 found the body of the south Fayette County 13-year-old, Javontay Reed, just after 6 p.m. The autistic teen had wandered away from his home earlier that day, climbed a fence to get to a neighbor’s pool and somehow got into the water, where his body was discovered.
As many as 75 people scoured the area around Merrydale Drive in an effort to find Javontay Reed (photo above). Drowning is the leading cause of death for autistic children under the age of 15, according to a website of the National Autism Association.
“It was a united effort,” Sheriff Barry Babb said on June 5, referencing the large number of first responders and area residents who quickly arrived to help in the search.
Babb said the search was aided by the homeowners in whose pool Reed was found. The homeowners at one point during the search went back to their residence and discovered Reed’s body in the bottom of the pool, then notified the sheriff.
It was believed that Reed climbed over the fence to access the pool, said Babb, adding that the fence gate was padlocked.
“The coroner’s report said the death was due to accidental drowning,” Babb said.
“In 2009, 2010, and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91 percent of total U.S. deaths reported in children with [autism] ages 14 and younger” as a result of wandering away or leaving home unannounced, according to the National Autism Association website.
Babb asked for continued prayers for the families, first responders and volunteers and expressed heartfelt gratitude for those who assisted in the search.
The sheriff’s mobile command center was at the search scene. Included in the search were more than 75 personnel from the sheriff’s office, Fayette County Fire Department, recruits from the Fayette County Fire Academy, Fayetteville Police Department, Clayton County Police Air unit and citizen volunteers.