Originally published on Sept. 7By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 18-hour search for a little girl with autism ended in heartbreak Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators announced just after 2 p.m. that the body of 2-year-old Iklas Abdullahi Ahmed was found near Rosland Park in Edina.

Iklas Abdullahi Ahmed (credit: Edina Police)

Police and fire crews from several different cities joined forces with Edina’s police and firefighters in the search effort. Crews spread throughout the park, while drones with infrared and heat-seeking technology covered the area by air. Edina residents were also asked to pitch in and search their property for the missing girl.

“The biological father needed to take one of the children away to the bathroom, and while in the bathroom, dealing with that aspect, our missing juvenile Iklas wondered off,” Edina Police Chief Todd Milburn said.

(credit: CBS)

Family and friends were staged inside a bus, while investigators searched the area near the water where she was last seen.

Screams and cries could be heard coming from the area just after 1 p.m., when police escorted family members to the waters’ edge. Iklas’s mother, overcome with grief, collapsed. She was taken to a nearby ambulance. Moments later, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s wagon arrived, signaling the end of the search.

Police say its investigation is ongoing. Several Edina residents have already come together and collected more than $3,000 to help Iklas’s family pay for funeral expenses.

A candlelight vigil will be held in her honor at Rosland Park Tuesday at 7 p.m.

To access a GoFundMe For Ahmed’s family, click here.

Reg Chapman