The body of a 2 year old boy from Austin Manitoba was discovered in a creek about .5km from the toddler’s home. The RCMP’s Bert Paquet confirmed Chase Martens was found earlier today after being missing since Tuesday evening. The spokesperson for the RCMP says there were no signs of foul play.
Sgt. Paquet told reporters the discovery was made shortly after 1:00 this afternoon by a group of volunteer searchers from Winnipeg. He noted this area of creek had been searched before but they continued to watch the area as water conditions changed over the last few days.
The RCMP estimates that 30,000 hours were volunteered during the search and Sgt. Paquet praised the efforts of everyone who helped in what he could only call a “tragedy.”
Chase vanished from outside his family’s home near Austin around 6:00 Tuesday evening. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have been scouring the region on foot, on horseback and by ATV plus the RCMP Dive Team. The Mounties were also using drones to search from the air. In the last 24 hours the search area was expanded to a 4km radius of the home.
On Thursday, the toddlers parents, Thomas Martens and Destiny Turner, made an emotional plea to the public asking for more information. “Chase has vanished without a trace,” Thomas Martens said, as he tearfully asked for his son’s safe return, ”If someone has our son please bring him home, we won’t be angry. We will be forgiving and grateful.” His parents also said it was unusual for him to go off by himself and if he did, their dog was always with him.
The Premier of Manitoba took a moment off the campaign trail to express his condolences to the family of Chase Martens.
Our hearts go out to the family of Chase Martens today. We wish them peace in this time of sorrow.— Greg Selinger (@GregSelinger) March 26, 2016
The search for the missing boy captured the attention of many people across Manitoba but also across the country. On Twitter many this evening were posting their condolences using the hashtag #RIPChase