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Austin was last seen in the 29800 block of Green River Road southeast in Auburn, Washington at 8:30 a.m. on November 7, 2008. He and his two-year-old cousin, Hunter Beaupre, were passengers in a 2001 Volkswagen Beetle driven by Austin's sixteen-year-old stepsister. It was raining that day and Austin's stepsister lost control of the car and swerved into oncoming traffic, down an embankment and into the Green River, which was rain-swollen and moving fast. The girl was able to get out and swim to safety, but the Volkswagen quickly sank and she was unable to rescue the two boys.
Divers located the Volkswagen and pulled it out of the river a few days after the accident. Hunter's body was inside it, still buckled into his car seat. A photo of him is posted below this case summary. Austin's body could not be located.
In 2012, more than three years after the accident, Austin's parents filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against Auburn and King County, saying the road was "wrongfully, negligently and deceptively designed, constructed and maintained." The outcome of the lawsuit is unknown. Austin's remains have never been found, but he is presumed drowned.
King County Sheriff's Office