Local family mourning the loss of their autistic daughter in the hometown of Project Lifesaver International

The loss of a child is a tragedy that no family should have to endure under any circumstance. 

On Saturday, December 2nd Chelsea Noel, who is autistic and nonverbal, eloped from her home in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Within only seconds, her family noticed her disappearance, but by that point, it was too late… she was missing among a heavily wooded neighborhood positioned just parallel to a large canal and numerous small bodies of water. Local law enforcement agencies, as well as concerned citizens, whom for their participation and support, cannot be shown enough gratitude, scoured the neighborhood for more than 24 hours in search of the 4-year-old. Sadly, Chelsea’s body was recovered early Monday morning from a retention pond just three blocks from the family home.

Unfortunately, autism-related wandering is not uncommon, and due to an attraction and inability to detect danger, many of these children will head straight to a nearby body of water.

All of us here at Project Lifesaver have been working tirelessly for nearly 20 years to protect special needs individuals and provide support and resources to their caregivers in an effort to prevent tragedies like this from occurring.

It is with the deepest sympathies for the Noel family that we will continue to put forth every effort to prevent tragedies from happening in the future; to ensure no other family will endure the pain the Noel family is currently suffering due to the loss of their beloved daughter, Chelsea.