Body of Ontario boy found after months-long search
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:10AM EDT
The parents of a missing New Hamburg, Ont. boy will finally have some closure.
Five-year-old Robbie Reiner’s body was found on the banks of the Nith River on Tuesday, concluding a four-month search that began when the boy fell in the icy river behind his home on Boxing Day, Dec. 26.
“We were kind of prepared for the day to come, we just didn’t know when it was coming,” the boy’s father, Bill Reiner, told CTV News on Tuesday.
Robbie Reiner’s body was found near the Haysville Bridge, 12 kilometres downstream from where it’s believed he fell in.
An off-duty police officer and another volunteer made the discovery Tuesday afternoon, police said. They were searching the banks of the river on their own and not as part of an organized effort, according to police.
“It has been a difficult, difficult winter for everyone involved in this search,” Staff Sgt. Shaena Morris told CTV News.
Volunteers have been looking for the boy since he disappeared, and a police dive team even tried to find the body. Searchers found pieces of his clothing on the riverbank near where he was thought to have fallen through the ice. The rest of his clothes were still on him when his body was found.
The search effort intensified in late April, after the ice melted and the river became navigable.
The Reiner family used social media to thank the community for its support and help with the search effort.
“THANK YOU! To each and every one of you!” said a message posted to the Facebook page used to raise funds for the search effort. “For your prayers, good thoughts, well wishes, hugs, tears and everything in between! Robbie has finally been brought home and can be laid to rest.”
Blue ribbons and wreaths still adorned the outside of the Reiner home on Tuesday in Robbie’s memory. Another blue ribbon was tied to the Haysville Bridge where his body was found. The ribbons were part of a fundraising campaign to bring awareness to the search effort back in February.
Robbie Reiner loved cars, trains and playing outside, his father said. Bill Reiner said he’s thinking about speaking at schools to educated children about the dangers of water.
A post-mortem is scheduled for Wednesday in Hamilton.
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