Body of boy, 2, found after he fell into Leicester river more than three months ago

Xielo Maruziva
-Credit: (Image: Leicestershire Police)

The body of missing two-year-old Xielo Maruziva has been found - more than three months after he fell into the River Soar. Xielo, described as a "bundle of joy" by his heartbroken dad, was walking along the towpath with his family when the tragedy happened on February 18.

Despite efforts from those at the scene, Xielo could not be found. An urgent search was launched by Leicestershire Police - described at the time as being among the most complex the force had ever faced - but it was without success and was eventually scaled back on March 21.

The toddler's body was found on Thursday morning (June 6), by workers in the area of Aylestone Meadows near the River Soar. LeicestershireLive reports there was a large police presence at the nature reserve this afternoon, with cordons preventing people from getting to much of the meadows, including Pebble Beach.

READ MORE: Michael Mosley search live as This Morning doctor reported missing on Greek island

Police said the body had been recovered, with formal identification set to take place. HM Coroner had been informed, while specialist officers were supporting Xielo’s family.

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.

“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.”

ACC Kerr added: “Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the search for Xielo for your dedicated work in extremely traumatic circumstances and an extremely complex search. Thank you also to our communities and wider members of the public for your continued support.”

Days after Xielo's disappearance, his mum said in a statement released by the police: "Xielo is a cheeky, funny, friendly, smart, caring and independent little boy. He never fails to make me laugh or smile and always loves a cuddle and some kisses.

"Xielo loves playing with his toys and watching cartoons including Bino and Fino. Me, his dad and the whole family are so heartbroken at what has happened."

His dad 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. As a family we have been completely devastated over the past few days as the search for Xielo continues. It is hard to describe the pain and suffering we are going through."