York police say officers from its marine unit believe they have found the body of a 30-year-old man who went missing in a Richmond Hill pond during a rain storm on Tuesday.
The coroner has been called to the scene, which is near Major Mackenzie Drive and Frank Endean Road. York Regional Police were initially called to the scene at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday for a report of a possible drowning.
In a news release issued earlier Wednesday, police said officers arrived to find a 26-year-old Toronto man in a storm drain tunnel that connects to the pond. He was rescued and told police that he had been in the tunnel with his friend when it started to flood rapidly due to heavy rain.
The friend, from Richmond Hill, was swept away into the pond, the release said. He did not resurface.
Officers, firefighters and a marine unit were called to help with an underwater search.
The pond is not particularly deep but the water level can rise quickly during wet weather.
"When I first arrived the waters were rushing very high, very deep and very dangerous," said Staff Sergeant Douglas James from the scene on Tuesday.
There are several bodies of water in the area that feed into each other for rain water retention.
Environment Canada issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the Greater Toronto Area on Tuesday afternoon. At one point, much of the GTA was also under a tornado watch.
Water levels have lowered in the pond by about two feet since the storm passed and police expect it to drop further, James said.