Search for Kaden Young, swept away in Grand River, to be scaled back
Police 'remain committed' to finding young boy's body
Police say they will scale back the search for Kaden Young, the three-year-old who was swept out of his mother's arms last week during flooding of the Grand River near Grand Valley, west of Orangeville, Ont.
Kaden has been missing since just before 1 a.m. ET on Feb. 21. The van his mother was driving got caught up in floodwaters over the road near their home in Waldemar. As Michelle Hanson tried to get her son out of the van, he was ripped from her arms by the fast-moving current.
"The OPP remain committed to finding this young child and the formal search may reconvene at any time should anything be located that may pinpoint a possible area that requires additional searching," Const. Paul Nancekivell of Dufferin Ontario Provincial Police said in a release late Monday.
The OPP search has involved a helicopter, drone, boats, dive teams and canine units. Only a T-shirt and a booster seat have been found.
"With mild weather remaining in the long-range forecast, the OPP will be continually reassessing the conditions along the 13 km stretch from Waldemar to Belwood Lake that has been the focus of the search since the floodwaters began to subside," Nancekivell said.
Volunteers carry on with search
Over the past week, hundreds of people have also volunteered to search the banks of the river, including Kaden's father, Cam Young.
The Grand River Conservation Authority has granted access to a boat launch at Belwood Lake for a small group of volunteers who requested to remove some of the ice in that area.
Cam Linwood, communications co-ordinator for the GRCA, said they want to help the volunteers in their search. The volunteers planned to bring in construction equipment to attempt to remove some of the ice.
He warned water levels are still quite high for this time of year and volunteers searching the banks of the Grand River should be extremely cautious.
"Those water temperatures are very, very cold this time of year and those river flows are still very high," he said, adding much of Belwood Lake is still covered in ice and will likely remain that way into April.
Volunteers have been meeting at the Young family home in Waldemar, just east of Grand Valley, before heading out to search. Police thanked them for their help and urged those continuing to search to be safe on riverbanks.
Cam Young has also thanked volunteers on behalf of himself and Hanson.
He has said he won't give up the search.
On his Facebook page, he said, "Everyone keeps asking if I need anything. I need to find my son."