Sheriff’s department finds body believed to be missing boy

By , Daily Memphian Updated: July 07, 2023 5:05 PM CT | Published: July 07, 2023 1:59 PM CT

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies recovered a body from Jamieson Lake in the Laurel Tree subdivision in the southeast part of the county Friday afternoon, July 7.

SCSO announced the disappearance of a 3-year-old boy Friday morning and spent the day combing the subdivision and the lake for him.

Sheriff’s department searching for missing 3-year-old

“We believe the body to be that of Israel Powell, but this is still under investigation,” said John Morris, spokesman with the sheriff’s office.

A medical examiner was on the way as of 1:45 p.m.

Asked if any foul play was suspected, Morris said, “It’s all under investigation.”

He also said rescue teams used sonar technology to search for Powell in the lake.

During an earlier media briefing, Morris said a neighbor spotted Powell and his 4-year-old sister at about 1 a.m. Friday morning around Jamieson Lake.

His sister was found and taken to the hospital in non-critical condition. She’s still in the hospital in stable condition, according to Morris’ most recent update.

Kim Brewer, who said she is the mother-in-law of Powell’s aunt, arrived in the neighborhood after the body was recovered to be with the family.

Brewer, who was in the car with her two 5-year-old grandchildren, spoke tearfully about Powell.

“I prayed all morning that he would be found and OK,” Brewer said. “Because he was 3 years old and never had the chance to really have a life.”

Powell’s presumed death reminded Brewer to keep a watchful eye on her grandchildren when they are with her.

“People have got to do a better job than just letting them go,” Brewer said. “I wouldn’t have never been able to sleep if I heard a door open and children gone. That’s so sad.”


Shelby County Sheriff’S Office
Julia Baker

Julia Baker

Julia Baker covers Memphis and Shelby County’s law enforcement agencies and is a member of The Daily Memphian’s public safety reporting team. A lifelong Memphian, Julia graduated from the University of Memphis in 2021. Other publications and organizations she has written for include Chalkbeat, Memphis Flyer, Memphis Parent magazine and Memphis magazine.


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