RCMP say body of Chase Martens, 2, has been found after days of searching

By on March 27, 2016

RCMP search for Chase Martens. (Photo: RCMP Manitoba/Twitter)
RCMP search for Chase Martens.
(Photo: RCMP Manitoba/Twitter)

AUSTIN, Man.—RCMP in Manitoba say the body of a two-year-old boy who had been missing since vanishing from his rural home earlier this week has been found.

Police made the announcement about Chase Martens on Saturday afternoon via Twitter, noting the search has concluded.

A second tweet from the RCMP that followed the announcement thanked other agencies and the thousands of volunteers who helped with the search for the boy.

No other details about the discovery have been provided, police were to hold a news conference near the community of Austin later Saturday.

On Thursday the boy’s parents had pleaded for any information that might lead to a reunion with their son, saying it would be unusual for Chase to wander off the property without the family dog.

The search involved hundreds of people on foot and horseback, driving ATVs and in the air since the child was last seen late Tuesday.

“This is the worst possible outcome that could happen. We’re all devastated here. We feel for the parents,” said James Favel, an organizer with the Bear Clan, a volunteer safety-patrol group from Winnipeg whose members helped with the search.

“I have a grandson myself that’s two-and-a-half years old. I would be completely out of my mind right now,” Favel added.

The search expanded on Friday to an area up to four kilometres from the home. Police said drones were brought in to map the area to assist searchers, and that an underwater recovery team was part of the effort.

Favel was with a group on Thursday that combed through a cultivated field. The field had recently thawed and was messy, he said, but the searchers kept focused on their task.

Police earlier said they had not ruled out foul play, but said was not the focus of their investigation.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger tweeted a message of condolence shortly after the announcement that the search had ended.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Chase Martens today. We wish them peace in this time of sorrow,” Selinger said.