Nova Scotia

Truro reeling as recovery effort for missing boy resumes

People in Truro, N.S., are reeling after the disappearance of three-year-old Dylan Ehler as the community tries to come to grips with another potential tragedy in the area.

'It is looking a little bit bleaker each day,' says mayor

Dylan Ehler , 3, was last seen near Queen and Elizabeth Streets in Truro. (Town of Truro/Facebook)

People in Truro, N.S., are bracing for the prospect of more tragedy.

Crews were back out Friday with a helicopter searching the Salmon River area for three-year-old Dylan Ehler, who has been missing since Wednesday.

It comes only weeks after the area was part of a mass shooting that left 22 victims dead.

The Truro Police Service said teams including Colchester Ground Search and Rescue have been in the area since 8:30 a.m. looking for the boy.

Truro Police Chief Dave MacNeil told the media on Friday that the search had concluded around the original site and has moved further down Salmon River toward the mouth of Cobequid Bay. 

"We're in the recovery-mode now, so that phase is going to continue until we've exhausted everything we can do," he said.

The search for Dylan turned into a recovery operation on Thursday after police and searchers could find no new clues or information about his whereabouts. The boy was last seen on Wednesday near his grandmother's house in the town. 

"We're still holding onto that hope that perhaps someway, somehow, this little guy is perhaps on the side of a bank somewhere or in a bush or something," said Mills. "But I must admit that it is looking a little bit bleaker each day."

A helicopter is shown searching the Salmon River area on Friday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Dylan went missing early Wednesday afternoon and a search began at about 1:20 p.m.

During a press briefing on Thursday, Truro police said that Dylan was playing outside of his grandmother's home on Queen Street prior to going missing.

It appears the grandmother turned away from Dylan to handle her dog and when she turned around the boy was gone, said MacNeil.  

He said police were on the scene four minutes after being called. He said officers quickly canvassed the neighbourhood and brought in the canine unit. 

Bill Mills is the mayor of Truro. (Robert Short/CBC)

"People are still in shock, — 2020 has been a year we would much sooner forget," said Mills.

Truro  is about 40 kilometres east of Portapique, where the mass killing began the night of April 18. Truro and Portapique are in Colchester County.

One of six military members who died when a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed in the Ionian Sea off of Greece was from Truro.

All that tragedy is compounded by physical distancing restrictions put in place during COVID-19, said Mills. 

On Thursday, search teams were in Salmon River in Truro, N.S., looking for Dylan Ehler, a missing three-year-old boy. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The search for Dylan hasn't offered any good news.

On Thursday evening, the search turned to Lepper Brook, a stream close to the grandmother's home. Firefighters found one of Dylan's boots in the water.

The other boot was found further down the brook at the mouth of Salmon River. 

With files from Information Morning, Paul Palmeter, Taryn Grant and Anjuli Patil