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Woman and 3-year-old boy found dead in rural Nova Scotia community

Holly Jean Cooper and Lucas Robert Cooper were last seen on Ruth Falls Road in Ruth Falls early Saturday morning. (RCMP - image credit)
Holly Jean Cooper and Lucas Robert Cooper were last seen on Ruth Falls Road in Ruth Falls early Saturday morning. (RCMP - image credit)

A 36-year-old woman and three-year-old boy have been found dead in a rural community on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore.

The RCMP said Holly Jean Cooper and Lucas Robert Cooper were last seen around 2 a.m on Saturday at a home on Ruth Falls Road in Ruth Falls, about 123 kilometres northeast of Halifax.

Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay said police received a report that the pair were missing on Monday evening.

He said the woman's body was discovered on Tuesday morning on the shoreline of a body of water, roughly 100 metres from where she was last seen. Shortly after, the body of the boy was found nearby.

"The terrain is very rugged and the embankment of the body of water is up to 80 feet high," said Tremblay, adding that the steepness of the cliff made search efforts challenging.

Deaths not suspicious

He said ground search and rescue teams were assisted by a police dog team, helicopter and the Canadian Coast Guard.

"We've had rain storms over the weekend, so the level of water and the snow melt and ice, those are all factors for searchers, it makes it harder to search," he said.

Police said the deaths are not believed to be suspicious, but the investigation is ongoing.

A police officer walks toward a home in Ruth Falls, N.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.
A police officer walks toward a home in Ruth Falls, N.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.

A police officer walks toward a home in Ruth Falls, N.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (CBC)

Tremblay wouldn't provide any other details on the circumstances surrounding the deaths or the missing persons report.

"I can tell you that anytime someone is missing, please report it to police. We have resources at our disposal to search for individuals or loved ones that are out there," he said.

"It's not like on TV where you have to wait 24 hours to report it to police. You can call immediately as soon as you have concerns for someone that you can't reach, or a loved one you're usually in touch with."

'Our hearts are with them'

Citing privacy laws, Tremblay declined to comment on the relationship between the two victims, saying only that they were known to one another.

But he said the tragedy has hit the family and search teams hard. He said it brought some first responders back to last July, when four people died in historic flooding in West Hants.

"It's hard on members when you're out there, you're searching for someone's loved one and a lot of times you bring back tragic news. It takes a toll on first responders," he said.

"And especially for the family, it's very tragic and our hearts are with them."