Within moments of finding 7-year-old Michael Kingsbury’s body Monday, police ran to the scene and began shutting down streets all over the area.
It was in an abandoned car that police discovered Kingsbury’s body just before 6 p.m. It was only about 40 feet from where the child had last been seen by family members about 32 hours prior.
During a press conference Tuesday, authorities said the cause of death is pending but Michael's body had no obvious signs of trauma. Police also said searchers looked inside the car where Michael was eventually fdound several times.
On Tuesday, residents tried to make sense of the incident and understand how police apparently missed the boy.
"I truly think it was a mistake (to) oversee something like that," says Damian Bascon, a neighbor who helped organize a search team.
Many are upset, questioning how Kingsbury could not have been found earlier. On Sunday, police had even parked their cars just feet from the car where the child was found. One volunteer said he had even helped police cadets search that very area.
"If we missed that spot, if we missed that, I have no idea how,” he said. “And I'm really sick if we did.”
Police say it is too early to know whether the child had been in the car the entire time he was missing, or just for a portion of it.
"We are all very sad and confused," says neighbor Kevin Cole.
There are some in the neighborhood who say that they don't think the Metropolitan Police did enough to try to find Kingsbury, which police refute.
Kingsbury’s mother told ABC 7 that her son had autism spectrum disorder. She said the only other time he ever wandered off he was found only one door away. This time, just two doors away, he was almost that close.
Police reportedly obtained some clues and leads during the search including a claim that a friend of the mothers saw the boy on a Metro train with a man.
The area's advisory neighborhood commissioner released a statement saying, in part, "It is in my opinion more could of been done. I am not one to point fingers. But, with so much crime in this area and everything going on somewhere this amber alert didn't get the attention it deserved."
A spokesperson for child protective services confirms neglect cases against Michael Kingsbury's mother, but says the most recent case closed a couple months ago.
Some neighbors say there were other complaints recently.
“Somebody should have come out and investigated her three weeks ago and this would have prevented the baby from being found dead. They dropped the ball again,” says neighbor India McKinney.