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Body pulled from water confirmed as missing 4-year-old Fiedwenya Fiefe

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 13:59:19-04

PLAINFIELD — The body found Friday in the Legacy Farms neighborhood has been positively identified as 4-year-old Fiedwenya "Neegee" Fiefe, the Hendricks County Coroner says.

The more than day-long search for the missing girl came to a tragic end last week when a body matching her description was recovered from a body of water.

On Monday, Hendricks County Coroner Rick Morphew told WRTV that the body was confirmed as that of Fiedwenya. Morphew said that the autopsy was performed early Monday and that a cause and manner of death hadn't been determined yet.

"We will not release any information until the forensic pathologist has all reports back and makes his finding," Morphew wrote in an email.

The Plainfield Police Department released the following statement Friday:

Despite the valiant efforts of our citizens, volunteers, police, fire, along with local and state agencies, the search for missing NeeGee has come to a devastating and heartbreaking end. This evening a body of a child that matches the description of NeeGee was located in a body of water in the Legacy Farms subdivision. Exact confirmation as to the child's identity will be determined by the Hendricks County Coroner.We ask that the public please keep Fiedwenya Fiefe‘s family in their thoughts and prayers and respect their privacy at this time.
Plainfield Police Department

Those who joined the search say they were crushed and heartbroken when they got the news.

"I would want someone looking for me. I know the first hours are crucial and you need all the help you can get," Isabella Mitford said.

Mitford, along with Sophie Pirtie, spent four hours on Friday searching.

"I felt like I was obligated to help because it was right in my backyard, and I was very concerned. It's absolutely heartbreaking," Pirtie said.

Fiedwenya has last been seen Thursday around 2 p.m. The girl went by "Neegee" and was nonverbal and autistic. As a result, she had a hard time communicating and asking for help, authorities said.

Police and fire crews were searching each of the 14 ponds in the Legacy Farms neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods since Fiedwenya was naturally attracted to water.

“Any child that’s missing, even for five minutes, it's devastating for everyone involved,” Plainfield Deputy Police Chief Joe Aldridge said. "We are a community of values and all the people of the community cares.”

On Friday afternoon, Plainfield police requested the public's help in their search.

More than 500 people were on the ground during the search, leading to police to say they needed no more volunteers.

"Cops were here, community members, people from different places, they came here to help. They've been looking across the street, maybe next community too," Vivek Desai, a neighbor, said.

Police obtained footage of Fiedwenya walking down Battersea Lane to the west of her home shortly after the time police were called.

Aldridge said crews were leaving no stone unturned during the search. In addition to to teams walking, searchers used sonar, ATVs, horses and all other tools at their disposal to search for her. Each of the ponds in the neighborhood were searched two or three times, but due to the murky, dark water, police said it was difficult to find things.

According to police, Fiedwenya was at home with her family and wandered off. She was last seen around 2 p.m. Thursday. A Silver Alert was issued at 5:34 p.m. Thursday.

Police say the girl has wandered from home before, but in the past, her family was quickly able to find and get her back home.

At this time, there is no information that leads authorities to believe foul play was involved.

WRTV Reporter Nikki DeMentri and Real-Time Editor Michelle Kaufman contributed to this report.