The sprawling search for a three-year-old boy who disappeared from his babysitter’s house on Tuesday ended in tragedy – with officers calling it off nearly 30 hours later after discovering the child’s corpse in a pond near the caretaker’s house.
The child, whom police only identified as Harry K., was reported missing around 9.30am on Tuesday. He was last seen by a neighbor playing in the front yard of the home in Lowell, Massachusetts at 9:15 a.m.
The boy was found in five feet of water at a farm near Varnum Avenue, police said Wednesday – an area close to the home of the babysitter who had been part of the search since its inception.
Police said Harry was dropped off by his parents at the residence, located at 37 Freda Lane, around 7am. He was one of two children being watched by the babysitter at the time, police said.
Investigators made the grim discovery just before 2pm – approximately 29 hours after the child was last seen.
It also came shortly after local police defended their decision not to issue an Amber Alert following Harry’s disappearance, due to their insistence that there was ‘no reason to believe “that foul play played a part in the tot’s disappearance.
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The child, pictured here celebrating his third birthday, whom police only identified as Harry K., was reported missing from the home, located in Lowell, around 9.30am on Tuesday.
The boy was found in five feet of water just after 1 p.m. Wednesday at Rollie’s Tree Farm (pictured), a wooded property near the babysitter’s house
The sprawling search for a three-year-old child was called off after more than 24 hours on Wednesday after cops found the child’s body. Cops were led to the boy by two police dogs who picked up the scent of the child, taking a trail in the nearby woods (pictured)
Officers told a press conference held near the site at 3:30 p.m. they believed Harry had walked through the gate to the wooded area on his own and that foul play had not played a role in his disappearance.
The police started the search of the house on Tuesday, after receiving a 911 call from the anonymous babysitter.
After failing to find the child after nearly 12 hours of searching, police conducted the search early Wednesday in the woods, part of the Lowell-Dracut State Forest.
Police also searched the nearby town of Tyngsboro.
Two police dogs picked up the boy’s scent in a section of woods behind the house in the early afternoon, cops said, and eventually led officers to the boy’s body at Rollie’s Tree Farm, a wooded property which adjoins Freda Lane.
Police said it was likely the tot ventured through nearby woods to the farm.
A cause of death has not yet been given.
Pictured is the Lowell home of the babysitter who lost track of the child. The Lowell-Dracut State Forest, where the boy’s body was found, is visible in the background
Police said it was likely the tot ventured through nearby woods to the evergreen farm
The search saw a coalition of more than 200 officers from multiple police departments scour Massachusetts suburbs for a sign of the child, focusing on areas they had already checked and areas they want to check again.
“We have all the assets we need to check every square inch of this area and we’re going to keep going out as long as we can,” Chief John Fisher said.
Eventually, thanks to the Massachusetts State Police K-9 unit, they were led back to where they had begun the search, encountering the boy in a neighborhood police said was a short walk away. of the House.
Police said the FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team also offered to help.
Following the discovery, many questioned the local Lowell Police Department’s decision not to issue an Amber Alert following Harry’s disappearance.
“The reason there is no Amber Alert is that there is no reason to believe there is a crime,” Fisher said Tuesday.
Speaking to local outlet WMUR 9 on Tuesday, the boy’s father appeared to agree with the chef’s assessment.
‘He is active. He likes to go out. When he is at home, he goes to the yard and plays. He is a healthy child but he cannot speak. He’s trying to learn to speak, but he can’t speak,’ he told the outlet.
The search saw a coalition of more than 200 officers from multiple police departments scour suburban Massachusetts for a sign of the child, using a grid pattern to cover more ground.
Dracut police, Tyngsborough police, UMass Lowell police and two units from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council participated in the search, which spanned two cities and nearly 30 hours.
Amber Alerts are generally not issued unless there is reasonable cause to believe the child has been abducted. The cops said there was evidence Harry got out of the house on his own, but did not say what that evidence was.
Meanwhile, a WBZ reporter who witnessed the search Wednesday morning said she saw officers checking the trunks of every car on Freda Lane.
After discovering the child’s body, officers set up yellow police tape around the farm and the pond.
Police Chief Fisher defended his department’s decision not to issue an Amber Alert due to supposed evidence the tot wandered off on its own. Amber Alerts are generally not issued unless there is reason to believe the missing person has been abducted
Before Harry’s body was discovered, a reporter said she saw officers checking the trunks of every car on Freda Lane (pictured)
A witness, a volunteer helping with the search, recalled how an officer made the grim discovery.
“I was looking for him in the cornfield, and all I heard was, ‘He’s gone. He is in the pond. We will take it out. Please get out of the cornfield,” volunteer Kylie Vouley told WCVB.