10-year-old child missing from North Preston found safe after overnight search

A search headquarters was set up at the North Preston Community Centre. Alexa MacLean/Global News

A 10-year-old boy, who was missing in the Halifax area overnight and was the subject of an emergency alert, has been found safe Wednesday evening.

RCMP confirmed the news just after 7 p.m.

“The RCMP would like to thank all involved in this search, to the North Preston community for its support and to the public for the many shares of information on social media,” read a statement.

The boy had last been seen in the North Preston area, and was reported missing to RCMP at around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Searchers scoured the area overnight and throughout the day.

In a release Wednesday afternoon, RCMP said officers, ground search and rescue crews were looking for the child.

“A neighbourhood canvas is ongoing, check points are set up, and officers, ground search and rescue crews, including a Department of Natural Resources helicopter are combing the area,” it said.

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At around 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, an emergency alert was issued about the missing child. In a post to social media later in the morning, the RCMP said the emergency alert was issued in the Halifax Regional Municipality, and Hants region, due to the boy’s age and because of the weather conditions.

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning in the Halifax area earlier on Wednesday forecasting up to 75 millimetres of rain.

A Department of Natural Resources helicopter is shown searching for the missing 10-year-old. Alexa MacLean/Global News

A headquarters for the search was set up at the North Preston Community Centre.

Breanna Allison, a community member who was out searching for the child in the cold rain Wednesday afternoon, said the community is tight-knit and many people wanted to help find the boy.

“I think it’s been a really good response. Once you go up to North Preston there’s a lot of people that are out searching, walking the streets,” she said. “There’s nowhere even to park, so it was a lot of people that have come out and helped from all over.”

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Allison told Global News there was a lot of ground to cover because there were a lot of woods in the area.

“Hopefully we can find him and bring him home safe and sound to his family,” she said.

In a tweet, the RCMP asked that anyone who did not live or work in North Preston to avoid the area to give the search room. They were also appealing for CCTV video footage or dash cam video.

The Saint Thomas Baptist Church on Simmonds Road opened Wednesday afternoon as a safe space for children to get support in the community.

“The church wanted to help out in any way we could,” said organizer Micah Smith.

“We have some therapists and counsellors here — not only North Preston community members, but members from HRM in general have been coming in, dropping off donations and treats and things like that to help provide the children with some comfort.”

— with files from Philip Croucher, Alexa MacLean and The Canadian Press

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