6 months later: The loss of life of Toledo toddler Braylen Noble

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TPD opened an investigation into Braylen’s death on September 9 after the 3-year-old’s body was found in the pool of his apartment complex. 6 months later, questions remain unanswered.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo Police Department opened an investigation into Braylen Noble’s death on September 9 after the 3-year-old’s body was found in his swimming pool at the apartment complex.

The child, who was nonverbal and had autism, was reported missing in the Hunter’s Ridge Apartments on the 3400 block of Gibraltar Heights Drive. His disappearance sparked a massive search by private search groups, law enforcement, and the FBI.

Now, six months later, with no officials being informed of the investigation, members of the community say they will not stop fighting for answers if he dies.

The swimming pool had been searched by divers the same day Braylen went missing, but almost a week later, police found him swimming in murky water during another search of the area. Police said it was customary to revisit areas that have already been searched to see if anything has been missed.

CONNECTED: Lucas County Coroner’s Office: The body found is 3-year-old Braylen Noble

Members of the community placed several balloons, candles, signs and cuddly toys at the edge of the pool to show their respect. As of Tuesday March 9th, there will only be a small stuffed animal near the pool and a scribbled message on the “No Trespassing” sign at the gate that reads “RIP Braylen”.

CONNECTED: Community feels trauma and grief over the loss of Braylen Noble

Lynn Ethington was one of many who volunteered to look for the missing boy for four days until police found him on the fifth day.

“We were hoping to bring Baby Braylen back safe and sound, but unfortunately we didn’t,” said Ethington.

A cause and mode of death have not been established, and a police department spokesman said they cannot make an arrest unless his death is classified as murder.

First details about the Autopsy of Braylen by Lucas County’s coroner office found no obvious signs of trauma to his body and said drowning has not yet been ruled out as a cause of death. Several calls to the coroner doing Braylen’s autopsy went unanswered.

Braylen’s mother, Dajnae Cox, had told WTOL 11 that Braylen was last seen in his bedroom. She was on the back balcony and her mother, Braylen’s grandmother Bobbie, was in the living room.

Since one window was open, the assumption was that it had fallen out of the window because the screen was pushed in, even though no woman actually saw it fall.

Click here for a full timeline of events.

Ethington, who is herself a mother, says it was frustrating not to have answers. “This baby must have justice and closure so that it can rest in peace.”

Jeffrey Holloway, Braylen’s grandfather, told WTOL 11 off-camera that he felt uncomfortable because he wanted answers too. Requests for an interview with him or his family went unanswered.

The Hunter’s Ridge Apartments property manager said they will be placing surveillance cameras all over the property for security reasons, hopefully by the summer. Braylen Noble’s death investigation was partly why they decided to invest in the cameras.

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