Quebec provincial police find body of five-year-old who fell in river

GRANDES-PILES, Que. — Quebec provincial police have recovered the body of a five-year-old who fell in a river while playing with his brother on Sunday evening.

Provincial police Sgt. Éloïse Cossette says a team of divers found the body at about noon today, close to the spot where the child was last seen.

The brothers, both under 10 years old, were outside Grandes-Piles, Que., about 150 kilometres northeast of Montreal, when the younger boy fell into the St-Maurice River.

Police dispatched a helicopter to search for the child, while firefighters, officers and local volunteers searched from the ground and the water.

The boy was found underwater by divers and was taken to hospital, where he was declared dead.

Cossette said police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death but don't anticipate laying charges at the moment.

"It looks more like a pure accident, but we will still do a full investigation regarding this tragic event," she said in a phone interview.

Cossette said the boys hadn't originally been playing close to the river, but decided to cross the street and follow a little creek that ended in a cliff by the St-Maurice. She says the older brother ran to get help after his sibling fell in.

The Quebec coroner's office will also investigate, Cossette said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press