Closer look at Knox County child fatality

UPDATED: March 30, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.

Preliminary autopsy results for the body of a 6-year-old Knox County, Missouri boy found dead in a pond were released Friday.

The Knox County Coroner reports that the cause of death for Christin Baucom was accidental drowning.

The coroner's report along with reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Knox County Sheriffs Department were all included in a Child Fatality Review conducted by the Knox County Attorney's Office.

This review concluded that the cause of death was accidental drowning and found no blame in either of the child's guardians.


ORIGINAL STORY: March 29 5:44 p.m.

An autopsy was scheduled Thursday for the body of a 6-year-old Knox county boy found dead in a pond.

The Knox County Coroner will determine the cause of death for Christin Baucom.

"Of course, all of us are assuming it's drowning but we don't know at this point," Lt. Nelson Elfrink with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Christin Baucom's body was found in a pond Wednesday afternoon. Officials suspect the cause of death was accidental drowning and say evidence does not point to foul play.

The Knox County Attorney's office will conduct a child fatality review. If an autopsy is ordered for a child under the age of 16, a review is mandatory within 72 hours of death. The review will include reports from the coroner's office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Family Services.

According to court documents, Christin and his twin brother, Jason, were put into the care of Elizabeth and Nancy Huber. The two sisters belong to the Mennonite community located near Colony, Mo. and have never been married.

The children are said to be from a troubled home. Their mother, Alana Ligier, is currently in the Chillicothe Correctional Center for felony theft convictions. Click here for criminal background information released in court documents.

Christin and his guardians were visiting a sister's house on State Route K for lunch Tuesday when he managed to sneak away. Christin had autism and would not respond to his name if called. His body was found more than 200 yards away from the home.
Click here for our original story about the search for Baucom.

"I'm sure their hopes were that we were going to have a better final outcome on this," Lt. Elfrink said. "But they were obviously distraught when they found out that we did locate him deceased."

This is not the first time the Mennonite guardians suffered tragedy. Missouri State Highway Patrol officials said Christin's brother, Jason, drowned near their foster home last August after wandring away. Danielle Bair was a substitute teacher at Knox County when Christin and Jason attended pre-school there. She was hoping that Christin was just hiding.

"I just hope everybody continues to lift his family and lift Christin up in prayer," Bair said.