Truro police chief provides update on search for missing 3-year-old


An extensive search continues in Truro for a missing three-year-old boy.

Dylan Ehler was wearing a jacket with a faux fur hood (pictured above), camouflage pants and rubber boots at the time of his disappearance.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Truro Police Service immediately at 902-895-5351.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Truro’s police chief, Dave McNeil, said officers were called to the area of Queen and Elizabeth streets at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday.

“Dylan was at his grandmother’s residence on Queen Street playing outside,” he said. “His grandmother became briefly distracted and turned around for a moment. When she turned back, Dylan was no longer in the yard.”

Ground search and rescue kicked off an urban search of houses, yards, sheds and garages. Crews also scoured nearby Lepper Brook, which runs parallel to Elizabeth Street.

“The water is very high there this time of year and it’s moving very quickly,” McNeil explained.

“Firefighters did go into the river, probably chest height. They were searching the river and at that point in time, about 20 after 7, we found a rubber boot belonging to Dylan.”

He said the first boot was found close to where the child went missing. The boy’s second boot was found further down the brook close to where it spills into the Salmon River just before 9 p.m.

Drones, thermal imaging and underwater cameras have all been used to aid searchers.

“Divers have been in the water intensively around the brook where the boots have been found. They’re in the water currently and working up and down that brook and into the Salmon River,” McNeil said shortly after 3 p.m.

The Department of Natural Resources is providing air support, extensively flying over the area and up and down the river.

McNeil said there’s been a lot of community support, but he’s asking the public to stay away from search zones.

“When people are untrained and they try to help search, oftentimes they miss clues, maybe trample over evidence, or maybe become a risk of falling in the raging water themselves.”

Truro Police have said foul play does not appear to be a factor in Dylan’s disappearance, meaning it does not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert to be issued, but a “non-intrusive” alert did go out.

“Which meant it did not go to cell phones, but it went to all social media and government sites, and all media sites,” McNeil explained.

The weather was fairly clear and warm when the search started but the temperature has since dropped and rain has set in.

Despite challenging conditions, McNeil said crews remain optimistic.

“We’ve suffered a great deal of loss over the last couple of weeks and we’re hoping for a positive outcome today.

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