Hundreds spend Easter weekend searching for missing boy swept away in flood
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Hundreds of Canadians are spending their Easter long weekend searching for a missing boy from a small southern Ontario community who was swept away in the Grand River during a recent flood.
By Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press
Searchers from several nearby communities have been congregating just outside Orangeville, Ontario every day for the last six weeks to walk alongside the river and search for the body of Kaden Young.
The three-year-old was in the family van in the early hours of Feb. 21 when the vehicle was swallowed up by the fast-moving river.
His mother managed to get the boy out of the van, but lost her grip in the strong current and he was swept downstream.
Volunteer leaders in the civilian search hoped that the Easter weekend would serve as an opportunity to help the community find Kaden.
Richard Croft, a local tow-truck driver who is co-ordinating the search effort, said that an average day could bring anywhere from 20 to 50 searchers, but around 200 people showed up on Good Friday alone.
Croft said around 100 people turned out to the search on Saturday, and he expected even more on Sunday.
The increased numbers help, Croft said, especially at a time when the transitioning weather makes conditions difficult.
"It's very tough out there no matter what. But with the warmer weather, the ground is getting softer, so it's getting slippery," said Croft, who said it was wet enough for the treads of searchers' boots to get filled with mud.
"It's a slow process because we have to make sure we're safe ourselves."