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DOMINANT

Investigators respond to Dreamland Lake in Fairview Park in Decatur on Thursday. A body bag was removed from the pond. 

It was heartbreaking to watch.

The end of the hectic five-day search for Dominic Walker, 16, ended in a Fairview Park pond.

Walker, a Mattoon High School student, was staying with his dad in Decatur when he disappeared last Sunday. He had Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD and left without the stress ball and fidget spinner he often used.

By Monday, investigators combed the region looking for clues. Bloodhounds from Cook County were brought in. A search of the Sangamon River was conducted.

"If he did run away, he's not in any trouble," his dad, Adam Walker, told the Herald & Review. "We just want him to come home and be home safe."

But then came word of the search in Fairview Park on Thursday. Investigators focused on a pond called Dreamland Lake, named after the amusement park that operated nearby in the 1900s.

It was the same pond where the body of Laura Rae Brown, 19, was found in 2004. Her boyfriend was found guilty of murder.

On Thursday night, it was surrounded by investigators again. A red gurney. Vans. A diver. A scooter being hauled away.

By Friday morning, the Decatur Police Department issued a statement.

"We are saddened to report that Dominic’s body was discovered on 5/16/19 in Dreamland Lake, located in Fairview Park. Although the Decatur Police put forth great effort and resources into the search, the outcome is not what we prayed for," the statement said, before thanking the numerous agencies and pointing out that the "manner and cause of death is still under investigation."

And then the statement finished with a line that rings true, something we all should do now.

"At this time," it said, "we ask that you keep the entire Walker family in your caring thoughts."

We will.

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