The search for five-year-old Robbie Reiner of New Hamburg resumed on Saturday after a private tactical training company believed they may have spotted him around the Haysville Bridge area in the Nith River.
Waterloo Regional police, and crews from the Cambridge and New Hamburg fire department joined a team from Advanced Tactical Training and Communications in the search on Saturday. They did not resume the search on Sunday.
“The river was actually flowing fairly fast and at one point there was a mass [of] debris that floated by, which was unusual because the river had basically been water before. [There] was little bits of ice and branches and that…but this was literally trees…and in and amongst there, there was the potential that he was seen,” said William Bolton, owner of the company.
The child was reported missing on Dec. 26. Rescue workers had found footprints leading to a hole in the ice by the river's edge in New Hamburg, with no footprints heading back. It's believed the boy fell into the river.
Emergency service workers ended their formal search after five days. Advanced Tactical Training and Communications volunteered to continue searching, even though they were not involved in a formal search. Bolton says his team has been out to the river at least two to three times a month since December.
Bolton said search conditions are currently very dangerous – ice and water levels are a concern.
"Police are going to be co-ordinating this now, it's back in their hands," said Bolton. "In regards to my assistance, I'm a phone call away if they need it."
Police and fire services haven't said if or when the search will resume.