An 8-year-old autistic boy accidentally drowned in the Salmon River October 7 and his body was found just south of the pedestrian bridge near Island Park in Salmon.
Skyler James Wayne’s death was an accidental drowning, Lemhi County Coroner Mike Mitchell has determined.
Authorities were called out last Thursday at 12:32 p.m. after Wayne’s body was found in 1-2 feet of water about 200 feet north of where Kids Creek flows into the river, according to a Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Two boys walking along the river found Wayne’s body. Salmon EMTs and search and rescue volunteers responded, but couldn’t revive the boy. His head was underwater and his body was cold by the time rescuers arrived, Mitchell said.
It took about an hour for authorities to identify him. The boy had been missing from his home, located three houses away from the river, for about two hours. Wayne’s mother had gone out and left her son and a girl in the care of a babysitter, an older boy, Mitchell said.
Wayne was autistic, had a fascination with water and liked to walk along the river and watch things, the coroner said.
He was the son of Jennifer and Daniel Wayne II of Salmon.
This has been a tragic and emotional time for the grieving family, Salmon Police Chief K.V. Felker said.