SMITH COUNTY — A heartbreaking ending in the overnight search for a missing Smith County toddler.
The Smith County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the body of Jacob Kimbley, 2, was discovered at about 1:15 am Wednesday morning in a wooded area near his home.
Kimbley went missing from his home on FM 16 near Winona just before 2:00 pm on Tuesday, setting off a search that involved a team of over 150 emergency responders and volunteers. Search and rescue teams used 4-wheelers, helicopters and horse-mounted deputies to aid in the search.
At about 7:00 pm Tuesday night, searchers said they had found Kimbley's footprints in the mud of a creek, sparking hope that he might be found soon. However, night fell and the search continued until his body was discovered.
Authorities say Kimbley disappeared while playing hide and seek with two other children, who are unharmed. Kimbley was described as non-verbal and mentally challenged.
The investigation into his death is now underway, spearheaded by the Smith County Sheriff's Office. No information on how Kimbley died or whether foul play was involved has been released. His family has been notified of his death.
Child Protective Services tells KETK they will investigate this case.