LOWELL, Mass. — Calling it a nightmare situation, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that the body of a Lowell boy who was reported missing on Tuesday had been found dead in a pond about 650 feet from where he was last seen.
Ryan said there were no signs of “external trauma.”
3-year-old Harry Kkonde was wearing the clothes he was last seen in when he disappeared from his babysitter’s home on Freda Lane.
“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,’ said Ryan. “Everyone who’s had a toddler is in terror of that toddler walking off.”
Kkonde’s disappearance prompted a massive search in Lowell.
Search crews located Kkonde’s body in about five feet of water in a pond in the area of Rollie’s Farm on Varnum Avenue, more than 24 hours after he disappeared. The farm is just a short walk away from Freda Lane.
“I don’t cry too much, but it was a shock. It was a shock. I never would have thought they’d find this kid in my pond,” said Roland Perron, one of the owners of Rollie’s Farm.
Divers had searched the pond at around 11 a.m. Tuesday but nothing was found.
“I am heartbroken I have grand kids. We both were looking for this little kid yesterday and when you guys came back today, we really didn’t think he would be in this pond.” Robin Chapman, another owner of the tree farm said. “We were sitting at the pond last night saying, gosh, let’s hope they find him tonight,” Chapman continued.
Ryan said investigators do not know where the little boy went when he first left his babysitter’s home.
A neighbor last saw the boy at 9:15 a.m. The neighbor had seen the boy outside, and then noticed he was no longer there.
Kkonde was reported missing by his babysitter around 9:30 a.m. in the Pawtucketville section of the city, according to Lowell police.
Ryan said they had no information on the path the boy might have taken while walking around.
The pond was searched again today by state police divers who found him at around 1:10 p.m.
Hundreds of first responders had swarmed the area and spent Tuesday and Wednesday looking for the boy on foot, in the air, on bicycles, ATVs, and even horses.
Police said search crews faced challenges because he went missing near a state forest with a large wooded area and wetlands.
Pools in the area were drained and backyards were searched overnight. Police also stopped vehicles traveling through the neighborhood, checking backseats and trunks.
Officials repeatedly asked residents to keep an eye out for the boy and to check typical places where a toddler would hide.
Divers, helicopters, K9 teams, state troopers, police officers and firefighters from multiple communities, and federal officials assisted Lowell police with the search.
Officials have not made any mention of foul play in connection with the incident.
The investigation into the circumstances of his disappearance continues.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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