Police confirm body found at Aylestone Meadows is Xielo Maruziva, 2

A body found in the River Soar in Leicester's Aylestone Meadows is that of missing two-year-old Xielo Maruziva, police have confirmed. The youngster had fallen into the water at the attraction on Sunday, February 18.

On Wednesday, June 6, workers discovered a body at the nature reserve and cordons were put up while the boy's body was removed. This afternoon (Monday), Leicestershire Police said formal identification had been completed.

Assistant Chief Constable Michaela Kerr, who led the operation to find Xielo, said: “We are so sorry to bring this news. This is a devastating and tragic incident and our thoughts are with all of Xielo’s family at this most difficult and unimaginable time.

READ MORE: River Soar missing boy: Body found in search for toddler Xielo Maruziva who fell into water in Aylestone Meadows in Leicester

"We ask that the privacy of the family continues to be respected at this time. Full support also continues to be provided to the workers who were in the area of Aylestone Meadows on Thursday morning and I continue to thank them for their support and co-operation in the most horrendous circumstances.”

She thanked the members of the public and all those involved in the search for Xielo, who have included experts from police forces across the country and teams from Search Group International (SGI), who were brought in to help at the request of the youngster's family.

Photo of Xielo Maruziva
Xielo's family described him as a 'bundle of joy' -Credit:Leicestershire Police

ACC Kerr said: “I know this news has affected so many of us and again I want to pass on my thanks 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.”

Xielo had been walking along the towpath of the River Soar at Marsden Lane with his family , when he fell into the water at about 5pm on the day he went missing. It prompted a search that was described as being among the most complex police have ever faced.

The search continued for several weeks, without success. It was scaled back on Thursday, March 21. After last week's discovery of the boy's body, cuddly toys, balloons, flowers and candles were left at the scene, near Pebbly Beach in the park.

The police said today that its specialist officers were continuing to provide support to Xielo’s family and that the Leicester coroner had been informed.

Timeline of the search for Xielo:

  • Timeline : Sunday, February 18 - a then unnamed two-year-old boy fell into the River Soar at Aylestone Meadows. A search was launched by emergency services.

  • Monday, February 19 - multiple specialist teams from police forces across the country join the search

  • Wednesday, February 21 - Xielo Maruziva is named as the boy who fell into the water. His family call him a “bundle of joy”.

  • Friday, February 23 - Police vow to continue the search over the weekend.

  • Monday, February 26 - Following calls from Xielo’s family, police announced that a private search team which helped to look for Nicola Bulley will be joining the operation. Police also confirm that the search area had been widened to include the River Soar around Watermead Park and Birstall.

  • Tuesday, February 27 - Search Group International (SGI) joins the search and is seen in Aylestone Meadows

  • Thursday, February 29 - SGI team members spotted in the River Soar close to the King Power Stadium

  • Friday, March 1 - the search continues

  • Sunday, March 10 - the search reaches three weeks to the day since Xielo Thursday, March 21 - the search for Xielo is scaled back

  • Wednesday, June 6 - police searching for Xielo recover a body from the River Soar, close to where the toddler fell into the water

  • Monday, June 10 - police confirm body is that of Xielo

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