By Bobeth Yates

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida community is in mourning after a four-year-old drowned in a canal behind his home.

“In this particular situation, it appears that in a fraction of a second, that child was able to exit the front door of the residence,” said Alvaro Zabaleta, with Miami-Dade Police, during a press conference, about the tragedy that struck the 1400 block of SW 280 Terrace.

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Officials say the four-year-old whose name is not being released had special needs and wandered off at around 1 p.m. Saturday, that’s when the department launched an extensive search which included family members, neighbors, K9s, and even divers who went into a nearby canal.

“Once our police divers went in, they did a search within a proximity of the house. It’s unfortunate that they were able to find the body of the four-year-old. The community at this point is mourning because it’s a four-year-old and it’s very hard, it’s very difficult to deliver such news to the family,” added Zabaleta.

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Zabaleta adds there is something to be learned from this situation.

“I can’t stress this enough, we live around bodies of water. How important it is to teach our toddlers how to be able to gain the skill sets of swimming, of surviving, of floating.”

In addition to learning how to swim, officials add parents should also look into child-proof doors and locks.

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“Look into the websites and look at different products, we have to be able to maintain our locked doors so that our little ones, who are very curious, don’t open the door and walk out like what happened today,” said Zabaleta.