Xielo Maruziva: Body discovered in search for two-year-old who fell into River Soar

A body has been found in the search for a two-year-old boy who fell into a river nearly four months ago.

Leicestershire Police said the body was discovered on Thursday morning in the area of Aylestone Meadows near the River Soar, after work was carried out.

The search had been launched to find Xielo Maruziva after the force received reports that the child, who was with family members, fell into the water on 18 February in Aylestone Meadows, close to Marsden Lane, Leicester.

His father went into the River Soar and attempted to rescue him, and police later began their large-scale operation.

The force has been supported by specialist diving teams from Nottinghamshire Police and Lincolnshire Police, and search and rescue teams from across the region and country.

Leicestershire Police said in a statement on Thursday that formal identification is yet to take place but the coroner has been told and Xielo's family are being supported by specialist officers.

'Devastating news'

Assistant Chief Constable Michaela Kerr said: "This is devastating news and our thoughts are with Xielo's family.

"We are so sorry to bring them this news which we were all dreading and our full support is being provided to them at this most difficult time.

"Formal identification will now take place and we ask that the family's privacy is respected at this time."

Ms Kerr added: "Full support is also being provided to the workers who were in the area of Aylestone Meadows this morning and I want to thank them for their support and co-operation in the most horrendous and unimaginable circumstances."

She thanked everyone involved in the search, as well as the community and wider members of the public.

In a previous statement, Xielo's parents described their son as a "cheeky, funny" boy.

"He never fails to make me laugh or smile and always loves a cuddle and some kisses," his mother said.

"Xielo loves playing with his toys and watching cartoons including Bino and Fino."

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Xielo's father added: "Xielo is a bundle of joy to us.

"He is a charming and creative little boy and has just started at nursery. He loves cuddles, playing with his toys and going to the park."