Body found in search for missing toddler Xielo Maruziva after February river fall

Xielo Maruziva
-Credit: (Image: Leicestershire Police)


A body has been found in the search for a missing toddler who fell into a river over three months ago, police have confirmed.

Two-year-old Xielo Maruziva was walking along the River Soar in Aylestone Meadows, close to Marsden Lane, Leicester, with family members when he fell in on Sunday February 18 prompting a huge search.

The body was found on Thursday morning in the area of Aylestone Meadows following reports that contractors carrying out work in the area made the discovery.

Though formal identification is yet to take place, it is believed to be that of little Xielo, described in February as a "cheeky youngster who loves playing with his toys and watching cartoons including Bino and Fino".

Leicestershire Police said: "A body has been found in the search for two-year-old Xielo Maruziva, who fell into the River Soar on Sunday, 18 February. The body was found earlier this morning (Thursday) following workers carrying out work in the area of Aylestone Meadows near the River Soar.

Experts from Specialist Group International (SGI) search for two-year-old Xielo Maruziva at the river Soar in February. -Credit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Experts from Specialist Group International (SGI) search for two-year-old Xielo Maruziva at the river Soar in February. -Credit:Joe Giddens/PA Wire

"The body has been recovered and formal identification will now take place. Specialist officers are providing support to Xielo’s family. HM Coroner has been informed."

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."

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