Missing 3-year-old Fannin County girl found dead

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FANNIN COUNTY, TX - Authorities confirm 3-year-old Alyssa Stephens has been found dead just east of Whitewright.

A smiling Fannin County girl reportedly went missing around 11 a.m. Sunday.

"We searched inside the house first with no results, we checked the immediate yard and went back in the house, we checked the adjoining yards," said Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster.

Sheriff Foster says they also checked for 3-year-old Alyssa Stephens in the neighbors' pool, which is behind a wooden privacy fence, "But the water was murky and we couldn't really see to the bottom," he said.

TX DPS, the Game Warden, and multiple police and fire departments all came out to help look for Alyssa. They brought in a team of dogs and some horses to aid in the search, but the dogs weren't able to pick up a scent at any distance from the house, so officials took another look at the pool.

"At some point we saw what we thought we needed to investigate further and sure enough it was the little girl," said Sheriff Foster.

The Justice of the Peace came out to the scene and ordered Alyssa's body be sent for an autopsy.

"We don't believe there's any foul play, we believe it's an accidental drowning at this point," Sheriff Foster told News 12.

He says an amber alert was never issued, because they had no reason to believe Alyssa had been abducted, "We know that the little girl, in the past they told us, that she was able to climb over the fence, and so we felt like she might be in the immediate area."