A nine-year-old autistic Brandon girl, Ariyanna Pivachek, was found dead by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) divers at the bottom of a pond located at the rear of 11159 Golden Silence Dr. in Riverview Saturday evening, April 7, after she had wandered off from a party she was attending.

HCSO spokesperson Larry McKinnon said that preliminary cause of death appears to be accidental drowning; however a final ruling will be determined by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Earlier that day Pivachek was picked up from her foster care home on 309 Greenview Dr. in Brandon, by a family who was considering adopting her and brought her to a party with eight other children at the Golden Silence Dr. address.

During the party, where reportedly at least eight adults were supervising the children, Pivachek managed to exit the house sometime around 3:10 p.m.

At 3:33 p.m. HCSO was notified that the child was missing, McKinnon said.

HCSO launched an immediate search with assistance from approximately 50 deputies, bloodhounds, helicopters and marine divers. HCSO issued bulletins through the reverse 911 systems and countless citizen volunteers came out and assisted in the search.

“The Summerfield subdivision is dotted with ponds that are often deep and have zero visibility, McKinnon said. “We had numerous Uniformed Patrol Deputies shed their gun belts and dove in the murky pond waters during the search, trying desperately to find the child and assist the divers.”

HCSO divers relied on a methodical grid search concentrating on the pond behind the Golden Pond Drive.

After about an hour of searching, divers located the child lying on the bottom. She was found approximately 15 feet from shore in water approximately six-eight feet deep. The pond is about 50 feet from the back door of the Golden Silence Dr. residence.

The investigation will be on going and HCSO would like to thank the media and countless volunteers that assisted in the search of little Ariyana.

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