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OPP dive team returns to water in search for missing toddler Kaden Young

Apr 20, 2018

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After waiting out Mother Nature, members of the OPP’s dive team are back in the Grand River in search of missing toddler Kaden Young.

“We have our dive teams in today, a helicopter and a boat,” Dufferin OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell told the Banner shortly after noon on Friday, April 20. “I expect they will be in there by now, or shortly thereafter.”

Conditions along the Grand River have improved to the point where the OPP’s dive team feels it is safe to resume its search for the missing three-year-old. Nancekivell said the plan is for divers to continue the search throughout the weekend.

“We’re hopeful with the warm weather,” he said. “We’re hoping to find him and bring some closure to this.”

Kaden is still unaccounted for after he was pulled from his mother’s arms and swept into the Grand River near Waldemar in the early hours of Feb. 21.

Police report Kaden’s mother, who was rescued by emergency responders near Dufferin County Road 109, drove past a road closure sign marked by orange pylons.

Her minivan was swept into the fast-moving river and deep water. Police say she managed to free herself and Kaden from the vehicle, but the water wrenched the boy from her arms.

Despite the effort of thousands of civilian searchers in the last eight weeks, Nancekivell said few signs of Kaden have been found. With Friday, April 20, marking day 59 in the search, volunteers continue to scour the banks of the Grand River.

So far, the OPP says few signs of Kaden have been discovered by searchers as the tireless effort to find the missing toddler continues.

While several items from the minivan were recovered, the OPP have had little to report when asked whether any of the clothing Kaden was reportedly wearing at the time have been found.

“Not to my knowledge, that anything has been located,” Nancekivell previously told the Banner, reiterating that details about what the child was wearing that night are being withheld from the public as part of the OPP’s ongoing investigation.

“What we’ve got is items that were in the van that the child and mother weren’t wearing. In the first week or so, they were finding a lot,” Nancekivell added. “We don’t want to discourage (searchers) but there has been a lot of stuff located that isn’t his stuff and isn’t from the van.”

The OPP’s investigation into the incident is ongoing. Any tips received by police are being forwarded onto the OPP’s crime unit, which is co-ordinating the investigation.

In the meantime, civilian searchers meeting at the family’s home (9 Mill St., Amaranth) continue to be sent out each morning at 10 a.m., depending on river and weather conditions. Nancekivell said there were about 20 civilian searchers combing the banks and shoreline along the Grand River on Friday.

Members of the civilian-led search are also expecting Rodney Stafford, the father of murder victim Tori Stafford, will join in the search on Saturday. He was planning to aid civilian searchers last weekend, however, the search was called off due to poor weather conditions.

“I can’t help but think of little Kaden Young, who has yet to be brought home to his family,” Rodney stated in a Facebook post on April 8, the nine-year anniversary of his daughter’s death.

“I give Kaden’s family all the credit in the world for continuing their search,” he added. “I am wanting to do what I can, so here goes …. I would like to personally invite anyone and everyone who can give us a day to help search for and find this little boy.”

For more information about volunteering in the civilian-led search, email or visit the Bring Kaden Young Home to his Family page on Facebook.

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