A missing toddler’s body has been found in a Massachusetts pond the day after he vanished from his babysitter’s house, officials say.
Three-year-old Harry Kkonde was found dead in shallow water on Wednesday, the second day of a desperate search for the youngster who had been dropped off the day before by his parents.
He was found by a State Police dive team in the pond not far from the home in Lowell. Police had searched the same pond on Tuesday but returned to re-check it.
“This is obviously every parent’s worst nightmare,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said after the discovery.
Harry was in the clothes he had been wearing when he disappeared and there was no sign of trauma, officials said.
Harry, was reported missing from a home in Lowell at around 9.30am on Tuesday. A neighbor told investigators that they saw the youngster playing in the yard of the property, which is 30 miles from Boston, at 9.15am.
Police say it was the fifth time that Harry had been looked after by the babysitter, who was also watching one other child.
“We urge any residents in the area to check their yards and their home surveillance cameras, and keep their eyes open,” said Barry Golner, acting superintendent of the Lowell Police Department. “Every tip will help us in this search.”
And he added: “Right now we’re still treating the incident as a missing person – a missing child. All our efforts are being focused on researching, tracing. We’re going to continue our efforts and we hope to have some success and hopefully find Harry sometime today.”
The child was dropped off at the house by his parents at 7am and was wearing a long-sleeve maroon shirt with gray pants.
Police say that surveillance footage shows the babysitter quickly began searching for Harry and got neighbors to help before calling in police.
Officers have searched on ATVs, bicycles and horseback and have used K-9s and drones. They have now brought in marine units and aerial and ground thermal imaging to help in the search.
“Search has resumed for missing three-year-old Harry in Lowell. Numerous agencies/units involved, including 11 MSP K9 teams, drone unit, 20 troopers from search and rescue unit, four Mounted patrols, and three divers plus Marine assets. Search area includes wetlands, swamps,” Massachusetts State Police tweeted on Wednesday.
Police say there is no evidence of foul play in the disappearance.