The three day search for a missing teenager last seen struggling in the waters of a Perth beach has ended in tragedy.
WA police today confirmed a member of the public found human remains at a beach in Trigg about 8:30am.
A subsequent forensic examination confirmed they are the remains of the missing 16-year-old boy, identified by The West Australian as Matiyas Bekuretsion, who was last seen in Scarborough Beach with three other youths just after 8pm Monday.
Police were called to the beach after four youths were seen struggling in the water. Three of the people made it back to shore with assistance however the 16-year-old could not be located.
A marine search and rescue operation commenced but was scaled back as conditions become too rough for rescue crews.
As the rescue mission was reduced to a recovery operation WA Police Acting Inspector Cindy Morgan said the chances of survival beyond Tuesday afternoon were low.
"This is a tragic incident, and we're going to support everyone involved including family, friends and witnesses,” she told media.
"We believe that he was an inexperienced swimmer and obviously that makes it difficult to keep your head above water."
Devastated family members were seen scaling the beach with torches overnight as they desperately tried to find Matiyas.
Police believe his mother is currently in Ethiopia.
"There were a lot of locals scattered across the coast with torches, phones, just doing their part trying to help… the whole of the community, the whole of Perth is with the family," local Damian Vucic who took part in the search on Monday night and told the ABC.
Local surfer and former surf lifesaver Michael Prosser said the area where Matiyas was swimming was prone to "a decent number of rips".
"The banks can be pretty nasty at times and I've pulled lots of people out of here, as have many others, both on duty and off duty,” he told ABC Tuesday.
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