Mother of 3-year-old boy swept into Grand River confirms search has ‘come to an end’
The mother of a three-year-old boy who was swept into the Grand River in late February has confirmed that the search for the toddler “has finally come to an end.”
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Michelle Hanson, Kaden Young‘s mother, said it has been a “long and extremely draining two months of searching” and thanked everyone that “helped in the efforts to bring our son Kaden home.”
Ontario Provincial Police said the body of a “small male” was discovered by a local fisherman in the Grand River in Belwood on Saturday afternoon.
Police wouldn’t confirm a connection to the Young search, but Const. Paul Nancekivell said the location of the discovery is 13 kilometres away from where the child went missing after he was swept away from his mother’s arms.
Nancekivell said, along with community volunteers who had been searching for Kaden, officers from the dive team and aerial units had been looking for the boy. He said weather conditions and the freeze-thaw cycles of the river impacted search efforts.
WATCH: Wellington County OPP say a body was discovered in the Grand River in Belwood on Saturday. Hanson spoke with Global News on Saturday and described the search effort to date.
Hanson spoke with Global News on Saturday and described the search effort to date.
“We’ve had a lot of support through the community and people as far as out west. It has been amazing. The people have really been incredible, very supportive and I really can’t thank them enough,” she said.
“I would like to thank every one of them for everything they’ve done for me and my family to help us bring Kaden home.”
She said that she had hope every day when she woke up that they would find him.
On Feb. 21, Hanson was driving with Young in a minivan when she accidentally missed a road-closure sign and the vehicle was taken into the river amid severe flooding in the area. Hanson was able to pull herself and Young from the vehicle, but she lost her grip on the boy and he was swept into the river.
Hanson said funeral arrangements are being finalized and more details will be available later in the week.
Richard Croft, a co-ordinator who helped organize the daily searches, said in a Facebook Live video that he was returning to his day job after spending the last two months trying to find Young.
“We have completed our search, and I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who came out for the search efforts,” said Croft, who also thanked the search team leaders, provincial police, and local businesses who all helped support the efforts.
Residents from communities all over southern Ontario looked tirelessly for Young even as the months went on, Croft said, adding that hundreds of volunteers showed up on Easter weekend to help.
—With files from Kamil Karamali, Nick Westoll, Matt Carty and The Canadian Press
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