‘We are all heartbroken’: The body of a missing seven-year-old autistic girl is found in the river after she went missing from her Massachusetts home on Sunday
- A 7-year-old boy was found in deep water around noon Monday, authorities said.
- Hundreds turned out to help find the girl, who had autism and did not speak
The body of a missing 7-year-old girl from Lowell, Massachusetts, has been found after a desperate search, investigators said.
Anna Mburu, a nonverbal girl with autism, was recovered from the Merrimack River on Monday, nearly a day after she went missing from her home.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said on Monday police were “heartbroken” to report the recovery of the body of a girl, preliminary identified as seven-year-old Anna Mburu.
Ryan said there were no clear signs of trauma, adding that there was no reason to suspect foul play or negligence on the part of her caretakers.
Divers recovered Anna’s body around noon Monday, found in deep water.
Missing 7-year-old Lowell girl Anna found dead in Merrimack River, state police say
File image shows a view of the Merrimack River from Terrill Park, New Hampshire. The river flows south into Massachusetts, where police recovered a body Monday.
Anna was last seen leaving home on her bike around 3pm on Sunday, and many came out to help find her.
‘We had literally hundreds of people come out. People came out with flashlights, looking at playhouses, swings,” Ryan said.
Ryan added after the discovery: “As anyone who has children knows, children can disappear in seconds, and it appears to be nothing more, based on what we now know, than a tragic accident.”
The family called police around 3 p.m. Sunday, just after she was last seen disappearing from her driveway, investigators said.
His family and police searched the surroundings with K-9 teams, drones, the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing and ground teams.
The local fire department and dive team also helped search the river, where the boy was found about 15 to 20 yards from the bank.
Ryan said environmental police used sonar scans to identify an image they believed to be Anna in the river.
A chief medical examiner will make a positive identification of the body and determine the cause of death.
On Monday evening, a vigil for Anna was held at Saint Michael Parish.
Anna attended the church school, along with her brother and two sisters.
The family has asked for privacy as they grapple with an “unimaginable loss”.