BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — A mother’s grief is on full display Thursday, a little more than 12 hours after her non-verbal, 9-year-old son with autism drowned in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Abida Sultana says little Nehan wandered off Wednesday night during a family outing to the IKEA store in Red Hook.
“I did not see him one minute. He ran away to the river. We did not know, we looking for the Ikea a whole half an hour. I told them, check the camera, check the camera. I do not see my son. Check the camera,” said Sultana.
Police say a security camera did, in fact, see Nehan as he left IKEA.
A three-hour search ended in tragedy when police pulled the boy’s body from the adjacent waters of the Erie Basin at around midnight.
A witness, Jose, spoke to PIX11 News reporter Kala Rama.
“I just saw helicopters and police circling the area. I was walking toward the water, and I see him just in the water floating,” said Jose.
Nehan, who, according to his family, just finished third grade at PS 236, was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Sultan was still clutching onto the shoes her son was wearing when he disappeared.
“He is just a baby. He does not know anything – what is dangerous for him,” said Sultana.
Ikea released a statement that reads,
“We at IKEA are devastated by this tragedy. Our hearts are with the family at this difficult time.”
Nehan’s 15-year-old brother Abibul, says Nehan has run off from the family before, but he either always came home or the family found him for anything bad happened.
He adds Nehan’s nanny was also with the family in the IKEA when he wandered off.