ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WALA) - Folks throughout the community near Hermey Avenue say 2-year-old Hezekiah Brooks was known and loved by many.
Authorities say Brooks was reported missing from his home in the early afternoon. By 2:30 p. m., the search was on as responders combed Hermey Avenue and surrounding areas.
Charles Gibson has lived across from Brooks' home for years and knows his family.
"He was a cute little kid. He was stocky-built and he loved to play. It just really tears me up," said Gibson.
Neighbors say dozens of folks from within the close-knit community assisted law enforcement in their search, desperately looking for any sign of the little boy.
"Everyone searched homes.They searched trash cans. I went down the road and on other roads and I couldn't find him. Suddenly, my wife said she heard someone hollering that they had found him," Gibson said.
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office says Brooks was found hours after he was reported missing, unresponsive in the backseat floorboard of a car.
Authorities say first aid was administered by responding officers, followed by EMS assistance. Authorities said however, all attempts at resuscitation failed.
Gibson said he's close with Brook's grandfather, who he said he's devastated by the boy's death.
"He dotes on that little boy. It kind of chokes me up. The boy has two older sisters. They're going to miss that little boy," said Gibson.
Deputies said cause of death is undetermined at this time and that final determination of cause of death to be determined by the medical examiner's office.
Sheriff David Morgan expressed his gratitude to the Klass Kids Foundation, the Escambia County Search and Resuce, the Coast Guard and everyone who is assisted so immediately in the search efforts for Hezekiah Brooks.
A memorial fund has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here .
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