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Police have recovered CCTV of moment missing two-year-old fell into river

Police searching the River Soar in Leicester for a missing two-year-old have recovered CCTV footage which they believe shows the moment he fell into the water.

Officers said the footage, covering a towpath in the city’s Aylestone Meadows nature reserve, had helped to assist the ongoing search for the missing boy.

Updating the media on continuing search efforts on Tuesday, Leicestershire Police assistant chief constable Michaela Kerr said: “This continues to be Leicestershire Police’s number one priority – recovering that little boy and making sure that the family are well-supported.

Missing boy river search – Leicester
The search operation near the River Soar in Leicester (Jacob King/PA)

“We have now recovered CCTV imagery that we believe shows the moment when the little boy disappeared into the water.”

A large-scale search operation began at about 5pm on Sunday, after the youngster went into the water near Marsden Lane while with family members.

ACC Kerr described the two-year-old falling into the river as the “worst possible nightmare”.

More East Mids stories - click above
More East Mids stories - click above

Confirming that the incident is still being treated as a missing person inquiry, Ms Kerr said: “We have got nothing to suggest anything other than this is a tragic set of circumstances.”

The senior officer said marine recovery dogs were now involved in the searches, while a drone unit and police drivers are also assisting the operation.

Ms Kerr added: “We have had tremendous support from the local community, and we thank everyone who has assisted with our inquiries.

Marine recovery dogs searching near the river
Marine recovery dogs are now involved in the searches (Matthew Cooper/PA)

“This is an extremely difficult time for the family, our thoughts are very much with them, and we continue to support them.

“A number of teams from across the force and region have assisted us during this operation and our priority remains to locate the young boy.”

As well as assisting the search operation, the CCTV had allowed officers to ensure that the right information had been given to family members.

Asked about what the CCTV showed, Ms Kerr added: “All we can say at the moment is that he was with family members.

“The last thing that we can see of the CCTV is that he just disappears into the water. I am not in a position to be too specific about that but we do know he was out with family members at the time.”

Specialist teams were deployed to the area on Sunday evening, including units from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

Missing boy river search – Leicester
Search boats at the scene (Jacob King/PA)

The boy’s father is thought to have entered the river in an effort to locate his son, and was later treated in hospital as a precautionary measure.

Chief Inspector David Stokes, the local policing commander, thanked the community for the remarkable support they had shown since the incident.

“I would like to also say in terms of members of the public – the conditions actually remain really precarious. In terms of the public, please can I ask that you don’t come down to the scene and attempt to do any of your own searches,” he said.