JEAN LAFITTE, La. — It's been more than six months since a four-year-old disappeared in Jean Lafitte National Park. While there is no longer an active search underway, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said the case is still active. A vigil was held for him Sunday at the scene where he was believed to have been last seen.
JPSO believes Ellis Baudean, who had non-verbal autism, was last seen July 15 near the Twin Canals in the park.
"Us as a community, we haven't forgotten about him," said Laura Zgola who organized the vigil.
According to JPSO, the child's mother told investigators she was at the park with Ellis and his 3-year-old sibling. She said she went to her car to get something when she heard a splash. The mother told investigators she turned around and Ellis was gone. Sheriff Lopinto said the mother jumped in, but couldn't find the boy.
"I know there's something, a bone, a piece of his shirt, something out here of his and I know it can be found," said Aikaterine, a community member who attended the vigil.
With divers, sonar technology, and cadaver dogs, crews searched the waterway for Ellis, but never found him. The nearly week-long active underwater search was called off after a plan to drain part of the swamp failed. During the active search, Sheriff Lopinto said there was no evidence to support foul play
"Look, the naysayers say the body isn't in here. Prove me wrong. The truth of it is I am not naïve enough to think this is the only option, it's the option that I have now," Sheriff Lopinto said July 21, after days into the search.
Sunday, just over six months later, community members revisited the scene hoping to bring the case to light again.
"My whole goal for doing this is to bring awareness again because it's been six months and nobody really talks about it in the public eye," Zgola said.
Ellis' cousin who attended the vigil didn't want to speak on camera, but she described the child as a loving, energetic boy who loved Paw Patrol. She said her family wants closure.
We reached out to JPSO Sunday for an update on this investigation. They did not release details but said it is still active.