OPP confirms body of Kaden Young has been recovered from Grand River

April 27, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The search for a missing three-year-old Waldemar boy who was swept into the fast-flowing Grand River back in February, has ended.

Kaden Young was lost after the van driven by his mother, Michelle Hanson, was pulled into the raging river on Feb. 21. Despite managing to escape the vehicle, Kaden was torn from his mother’s arms and into the icy depths of the river.

A man fishing the Grand found the body of a young child approximately 14 kilometres south of where Kaden was last seen. It was two months to the day since he disappeared.

Police and a forensic team arrived on the scene to remove the body from the water.

Following an autopsy on Monday, OPP confirmed the body was that of three-year-old Kaden.

A press release from the OPP on Saturday stated, “Officers of the Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police along with the Centre Region Emergency Response Team immediately responded to the scene and located the remains. Under the direction of the Regional Coroner, a post mortem examination will be conducted at the Office of the Chief Coroner and Ontario Forensic Pathology Service in Toronto.”

Kaden’s mother posted to a Facebook group to thank the community for their support.

According to police, the body was found under the County Rd. 26 bridge that crosses the Grand River in Belwood at the entrance to Belwood Lake. It was found in a cluster of trees and shrubs.

“We are wanting to thank everyone that has helped in the effort to bring our son Kaden home. It has been a long extremely draining two months of searching and now has finally come to an end,” said the posting on the Facebook page.

In the weeks after Kaden was lost there has been a huge effort to locate him with daily searches coordinated at a location in Waldemar.

Hundreds of private citizens took part in the search, some coming quite a distance to help.

The search was difficult. Ice in the river was a concern and OPP dive teams were severely hampered in their efforts to locate and recover the body. The OPP has maintained a presence on the river since the accident occurred.

Volunteers combed the banks of the river using chainsaws, hockey sticks, and whatever else they needed to break through the ice and debris along the shore.

Organizers said they would not give up until Kaden was found.

When it was announced that a child’s body had been located and presumed to be that of Kaden, people gathered on the bridge in Belwood to reflect on the efforts of the past two months. Dozens of residents attended on Sunday evening after the body was confirmed to be that of Kaden.

A vigil took place at the Belwood bridge on Wednesday evening. A funeral has been organized for May 5 at 11 a.m. at Compass Community Church on Hockley Road at Highway 10.


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