Community of Mitchell mourning loss of 10-year-old girl

The community of Mitchell is mourning the loss of a 10-year-old girl who went missing in Whirl Creek earlier this month.

Taleya Paris’ body was recovered on Monday afternoon, after a nine-day search.

“There’s a feeling of relief that there’s closure to the situation now,” said Walter McKenzie, mayor of West Perth Township.

Mitchell has a population of around 4,500 people and many say they knew the missing girl and her family.

“We had nine strenuous days of search and recovery,” McKenzie said. “You don’t just shut that switch off. It takes a period of time after for the community to accept what’s happened.”

The Avon Maitland District School Board didn’t confirm if Taleya was a student, but said the loss has impacted students, staff and the community as a whole.

“The tragic events response support team will be available following the March break for students and staff,” the school board said in a statement.

A memorial was set up on the Wellington Street Bridge and it continues to grow.

“It’s a way that they can show support and now a way to show condolences to the family,” McKenzie said.

Community members thanked teams who searched for Taleya over the past few days.

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