The body of the toddler who disappeared from his babysitter’s house in Lowell, Massachusetts, Tuesday morning was found dead in a pond not far from where he was last seen, authorities said Wednesday.
A massive search effort involving at least 200 first responders had scoured the area around Freda Lane in Lowell’s Pawtucketville neighborhood, where the 3-year-old boy, identified as Harry, was last seen at 9:15 a.m.
The pond where Harry’s body was found about 1:10 p.m. Wednesday in about 5 feet of water is next to the farm, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said. The pond is about 650 feet from the home Harry disappeared from.
We are seeing a development in the search for 3-year-old Harry in Lowell. Law enforcement has put up yellow tape around a farm on Varnum Ave. Several officers are standing around the perimeter. Large trucks moving in. pic.twitter.com/QcdpA3cUG5
The pond had been searched about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but Harry’s body wasn’t found then, Ryan said. She said it wasn’t clear if Harry had been in the pond at the time it was searched; he was wearing the clothes he was last seen in, gray pants with white stripe and a long-sleeved maroon shirt, and there were no signs of external trauma.
The search-and-rescue effort covered nearly 5 square miles, including wooded areas, according to Ryan. Police dove into the water, escorted K-9s, rode on horseback and ATVs and flew drones in an effort to find the boy.
Police, fire officials and other rescue workers had combed the area overnight and drained numerous pools, and a more extensive search resumed Wednesday morning. Officials had said that they were not only retracing their steps but also expanding the breadth of the search, which had remained within about a one-mile radius of the home the day prior.
“We’re checking every spot in that neighborhood from a breadbox on up,” Carlisle Police Chief John Fisher said earlier in the day. “A 3-year-old of average mobility, fortunately or unfortunately, can get pretty far. So today we’re going out even further than we might yesterday.”
Harry — his last name hasn’t been identified — was last seen by a neighbor playing in the babysitter’s backyard 15 minutes before police were called to report him missing, authorities said. There were no indications of foul play.
Surveillance video showed that the babysitter immediately started to look for Harry, enlisted the help of neighbors and called police “really quickly,” officials have said.
NEW: Police are stopping people driving through the Lowell neighborhood where the missing 3-year-old boy named Harry was last seen, asking if they’ve seen the boy and checking inside their vehicles. @NBC10Boston @NECN pic.twitter.com/oVgjx7q42B
source: NBC10 Boston