South Simcoe Police have confirmed that the body pulled from a pond Friday belongs to 15-year-old Siem Zerezghi, the subject of an extensive missing person investigation that took place last week.
On Monday, South Simcoe Police Chief Andrew Fletcher said the cause of Zerezghi’s death has been determined to be from drowning and that no foul play is suspected.
“The investigation, obviously, into Siem’s death will continue and is continuing today and did continue over the weekend,” Fletcher said. “There’s a lot of work to be done.”
On Friday, police said they found a body in the water near the Professor Day Drive and Eighth Line area in Bradford, close to items that were believed to be Zerezghi’s.
The 15-year-old’s parents reported their son’s disappearance to police last Saturday after they last saw Zerezghi the night before.
Zerezghi was last seen on surveillance video at 7:45 a.m. Saturday, moving north on Longview Drive.
“Long before we became involved in the investigation, he had walked out of his home,” Fletcher said, adding investigators aren’t sure what drew Zerezghi to the pond where his body was discovered.
“It’s a regular route for Siem to travel between his parents’ house and his aunt’s house. We know that his father took him there to play sports, so he is familiar with that area.”
Last week, South Simcoe police conducted a large-scale search in Bradford that was assisted by the OPP helicopter, local firefighters and the police drone.
On Saturday, Fletcher expressed the police service’s condolences to Zerezghi’s family.
“The South Simcoe Police Service used everything we had to find Siem, including assistance from neighbouring police services and other first responders,” Fletcher said. “Unfortunately the search ended in a way no one wanted.”
On Friday, Bradford May Rob Keffer also offered his condolences to Zerezghi’s family.
“There are no words to adequately express how terrible the loss of a child is,” Keffer said in a statement. “This community has come together over the past several days to look for Siem and to pray for his safe recovery.”
On Sunday night, a vigil was held in Bradford to honour the memory of Zerezhgi.