The body of a five-year-old boy who fell into a river in Quebec’s Mauricie region on Sunday night has been recovered, provincial police said Monday.
Divers found the boy’s body in the St. Maurice River around noon, near where he was last seen in the township of Grandes-Piles, Que., north of Shawinigan and about 185 kilometers northeast of Montreal.
On Monday morning, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) said the boy, initially believed to be four years old, was playing with his brother in the woods when he lost his balance and fell from a small cliff into the water.
The older boy, who is under 10 years old, ran to his parents and informed them of the situation around 6pm on Sunday.
Police combed the area with boats and a helicopter on Sunday, but were unable to locate the boy. Neighbors in the area also joined the search.
Staff Sgt. Eloise Cossette says the youngest child didn’t know how to swim.
Police divers and boats returned to the water Monday to continue the search. A command post was set up on Zéphirin-Doucet Street, where children played on the riverbank.
Cossette said divers found the boy’s body underwater and he was transported to the hospital.
“We will continue the investigation into the circumstances of this incident,” he said Monday afternoon.
A coroner will also be investigating, he said.
Cossette says the family is not from the municipality and were visiting friends in the area, where there are numerous rental chalets.
“If you don’t know the area, it’s a place that could be dangerous. It’s nature, I mean, it’s a forest, so maybe [were] surprised and one of them [fell] but we have an investigator who will find answers to all these questions,” he said.