Body found after river search confirmed as six-year-old Lucas Dobson
More than 200 volunteers spent three days helping the police look for the six-year-old after he slipped into the river while out with his family.
A body found in a river has been confirmed as that of missing schoolboy Lucas Dobson, Kent Police said.
The six-year-old went missing on Saturday afternoon after he fell into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, while on a fishing trip with his family.
A body was found on Wednesday morning, and the family were informed.
On Wednesday afternoon, Chief Inspector Mark Weller said: “Following the discovery of a body in the River Stour at approximately 9.15am on Wednesday August 21, formal identification has taken place and I can confirm the body is that of missing Lucas.
“It brings an end to our search and I would like to echo Lucas’ family’s message of thanks to those who came out to help search for him in the last few days. The community support we have witnessed has been heart-warming, even in the most tragic of circumstances.
“I’d also like to recognise the efforts of our partners from Kent Search and Rescue, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and all the volunteers who assisted in the search for Lucas.
“While the search may have ended, our support to Lucas’ family continues.”
When Lucas fell into the river, his father and two adults jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue him but he was swept away by a strong current.
Experts from the emergency services used specialist equipment in order to find Lucas, including sonar detectors, underwater cameras, divers, dogs and drones.
More than 200 volunteers helped in the hunt with some coming from outside the county to take part in the rescue. But they were later urged by police to “stay away” when the river became the “sole focus” in the hunt.
Vigils were held in towns across the south east of England for the missing schoolboy on Monday, while Twitter users shared images of lit candles under the hashtag #LightUpTheCoastForLucas in solidarity with his family.
The death is not being treated as suspicious, and a report is being prepared for the coroner, Kent Police said.