Body of missing 7-year-old Greagan Geldenhuys believed to be found
It’s the tragic outcome everyone feared; police believe they have found the body of missing seven-year-old Greagan Geldenhuys.
Fort Qu’Appelle RCMP responded to reports of a body in Echo Lake at approximately 9:52 a.m. on Sunday.
According to the family, Greagan was discovered along the same stretch of beach near the Fort Campground where his mother, 47-year-old Tamaine Geldenhuys, was found dead eight days earlier.
“You always have it in your mind that this is a possibility of what’s going to happen- you just hope it isn’t,” volunteer Jason Zaphe said. “So it really touched me, especially as the father of three kids – it hits home.”
Zaphe is one of more than 100 volunteers from across the province who dedicated their time to finding the young boy.
The seven-year-old was last seen on Aug. 24, the day before the body of his mother washed up on shore. Police believe the two were together sometime before Tamaine’s death.
While police haven’t confirmed the circumstances surrounding the deaths, they do say there’s no evidence to suggest foul play. The family believes their deaths are swimming related, saying the two were strong swimmers who loved to be near the water.
Last Monday, RCMP issued a statement calling the search a recovery mission as friends and family continued to hold out hope.
“It was a really emotional thing, seeing everyone come together like that. It just shows how communities band together and perfect strangers can just meet and walk up like you’ve known each other for ever,” Zaphe said.
The RCMP underwater recovery team also conducted searches of Echo Lake with additional supports on stand-by.
Earlier Sunday, Greagan’s uncle Darcy Pantel issued a statement:
“I write this post with a heavy heart. The search is over. A tragic swimming accident has taken two of our family [members]. This tragedy has brought together the outer reaches of our family and impacted yours. Every one of the family wish to say thank you to all who have volunteered their time, who have helped us in our time of need. We started the “Finding Greagan” Facebook page to keep all the friends and family informed. When we discovered that Greagan was missing we used it to spread the word. Not expecting that the we would be shared around the country, but so glad that it was. Social Media may have many flaws, but in this case it drew together a family, a community and even a province and beyond. The press has also been so helpful in spreading the word. I don’t remember your names, or the channels, but know that the word was spread. We have heard many times that at least finding the body will bring closure, and in a sense it does, but what it really marks is the start of the healing process. Greagan was found on the same shores as his mother eight days previous. He was found by local people walking and then quickly followed by some of the volunteer searchers. It appears that our initial assumptions were correct, that this truly was an unfortunate swimming accident. There could be more details, but in reality, a mother and son perished after being at the beach on a windy, windy day. They were at the beach because they enjoyed being there together. Our sadness is real. The loss is real. Our plea to you is to love your children, teach them to be safe. Don’t turn our sadness into fear of the water, but rather to help them understand the seriousness of water safety. Teach them to appreciate the first responders, police and fireman. I can’t think of any way that anyone could have been more supportive throughout the entire process. I could not have asked for more.”
Police weren’t available for comment, but say they are continuing to work with the coroners office as the investigation continues.
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