AUSTIN, Man. — The search for two-year-old Chase Martens has ended tragically.
“Earlier today a family, a community and a province’s worst nightmare became a reality,” RCMP Sgt. Bert Paquet said Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Martens was last seen Tuesday night in the front yard of his family’s home in Austin, Man. His body was found in a creek about half a kilometre south of the home at 1 p.m. on Saturday, five days later. RCMP say there’s no sign of foul play.
RCMP first announced on Twitter at 2:45 p.m. that Chase Martens’ body was found.
His body was found by a group of Winnipeg volunteers. Paquet thanked everyone who helped spread word of the search over social media and all of the volunteers who came out to help.
“I would estimate about 30,000 volunteer hours were donated this week. Majority of them people who were total strangers to the Martens family.”
WATCH: Global’s Skyview-1 helicopter over the search on Wednesday and Thursday
“There’s no obvious signs of foul play but we need to, we owe it to the family, to the province to exercise due diligence,” Paquet said.
RCMP, along with hundreds of volunteers, scoured fields, bushes and waterways around the home for days before his body was found. The mounties thanked the volunteers for all their help over the past week.
The autopsy is expected to be done Sunday.
WATCH: Parents of Chase Martens made an emotional plea Thursday
Police were also using drones to help with the search, and they had recently began focusing search efforts on nearby bodies of water.
Austin is about 120 kilometres west of Winnipeg.
PHOTO GALLERY: Hundreds came out to help search for two-year-old Chase Martens
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