Nathaniel and his 10-year-old brother were playing hockey on the river when they both fell in on Dec. 4. (CBC)

The Winnipeg police dive team is back on the banks of the Red River in Winnipeg, at the site where a body was recovered on Sunday.

Crews are going over the area a second time for anything they might have missed on the river bottom.

Police have also contacted Mclaine Flett, the mother of six-year-old Nathaniel Thorassie, who fell through the ice in December 2010 and was never found.


Mclaine Flett gazes out at the Red River on Monday, near the spot where remains were found on Sunday. Her son, six-year-old Nathaniel Thorassie fell through the ice in December 2010 and was never found. (CBC)

Sgt. Rob Riffel, who heads the police service dive team, said they have spoken with Flett to let her know a small body was recovered but that a positive identification has not yet been determined.

If it is Nathaniel, it would be a pretty big thing for his mother as well as the dive team, Riffel said.

"We spent an unprecedented amount of time diving in January under extreme conditions. You know, we wish we could have found him then. And if this turns out to be him then at least there is some closure," he said.

Mom makes offering

Flett went to the riverbank site on Monday where the body was found and tossed in some tobacco as part of a spiritual offering to the water.

Emergency responders were called to the riverbank near the 2100 block of Henderson Highway just before 2 p.m. Sunday. Responders located the body and removed it from the water.


Daniel Thorassie ties a red marker to a tree near the riverbank in December 2010, where his son, Nathaniel, fell throug the ice. ((CBC))

Riffel said the recovery location is about 12 kilometres downstream from where Nathaniel was last seen, near the Disraeli Overpass in the city's Point Douglas neighbourhood.

Nathaniel and his 10-year-old brother were playing hockey on the river when they both fell in on Dec. 4. A passerby saw the older boy struggling in the water and fished him out with a rope he had in his vehicle.

Divers searched the frigid waters over several weeks. On several occasions they were forced to stop due to treacherous ice conditions.

They finally called it off at the end of January 2011, after using sonar equipment and even a pig cadaver. The latter was used to study how and where the current carried the pig, which was similar in weight and size to that of Nathaniel.