Haunting final moment of disabled boy, 6, who plunged to his death in river

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A LITTLE boy with learning disabilities drowned in a river after his father was knocked unconscious by a robber.

Leon, six, who suffered from the rare genetic condition SYNGAP1 that causes severe learning disabilities, was left to wonder into the river in St. Johann in Tirol, Austria, on Monday.


Little Leon suffered from the rare genetic condition SYNGAP1Credit: Newsflash


Non-verbal, Leon, six, is believe to have drowned in a river in AustriaCredit: Newsflash

His German father, 37, was pushing Leon in his buggy at 4am when an unidentified attacker struck him in the head with a bottle, police said.

The dad allegedly collapsed to the ground unconscious, and little Leon is reported to have climbed out of his buggy and wandered around, disoriented.

Sadly, Leon walked towards the nearby Kitzbueheler Ache river and drowned, police said.

Officials confirmed Leon’s cause of death was by downing, an autopsy confirmed on later on Monday.

The horrific incident was discovered by a passerby, who found the dad at around 5.20am.

When the father came around, he said he could not remember what had happened, but enquired about Leon, police said.

Leon’s special-needs pushchair was missing.

Dozens of sympathetic people launched a search-and-rescue mission to find the little boy, who was non-verbal.

About an hour later, his lifeless body was recovered from the Kitzbueheler Ache river.

Police now believe Leon unintentionally fell into the water and was swept away 600 metres downstream, where his body was discovered.

Questions emerged, however, after the dad’s mobile phone and wallet were discovered near the crime scene, investigators said.

Investigators also wondered why the pair were out in the middle of the night – with Austria media suggesting it may have been due to Leon’s condition, which severely disrupted his sleep.

At the time of writing, police was yet to quiz the dad, an Austrian national, who remained in hospital.

His name was withheld by cops.

The investigation is ongoing.

Children with SYNGAP1 can suffer from epilepsy and seizures, language delays, sleep disturbance, motor delays and low muscle tone.


Leon’s empty buggy was later found near the crime sceneCredit: Newsflash


Leon is believed to have been swept away by the currentCredit: Newsflash


Leon’s autopsy revealed he had drowned in Tirol, AustriaCredit: Newsflash

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