Divers from the Ontario Provincial Police arrive in the community of New Hamburg to help recover the body of a five-year-old boy who went missing near the Nith River on Thursday. Linda Ward/CBC
The search for a missing boy near the Nith River in Ontario's Waterloo region is now a recovery mission, according to police.
Emergency crews began scouring the Nith River area of the community of New Hamburg for the missing boy Thursday afternoon. He'd apparently left his parents' home and headed toward the river.
Neighbours said the boy, whose name has not been released, was five years old.
Rescue workers had found footprints leading to a hole in the ice by the river's edge, with no footprints heading back. It's believed the boy fell into the river.
Sgt. Dave Reibel of Waterloo Regional Police said that the boy's family immediately contacted emergency officials, but after five hours, there was no hope of finding him alive.
"Sometimes young kids when they fall into water that's that cold can last a fair amount of time, [but] it was to a point where [local medical staff] believed that there was no chance of survival in the water," Reibel said.
Police set up a command centre near the New Hamburg division of the Royal Canadian Legion to co-ordinate the search. Recovery operations resumed at 9:30 a.m. Friday after a break last night due to safety concerns for the emergency responders on the scene.
Divers from the Ontario Provincial Police arrived at the river on Friday afternoon to help recovery efforts.
Search teams are asking members of the community to stay away from the river because of dangerous conditions from the recent ice storm, including slippery banks and fallen tree limbs.