LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Authorities are investigating how a missing southern New Jersey toddler ended up dead in a nearby septic tank.

Lakewood police say the 2- year- old was found in the underground sewage tank on Monday night. Authorities say she may have fallen through a hole into the tank, which is used for processing waste.

The discovery of her body ended a roughly three-hour search by township police, an Ocean County Sheriff ’s Department canine unit and a state police helicopter.

It’s unknown how long the toddler was inside the septic tank after her family had reported her missing.

The child is identified only by the initials J.C.

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