WINNIPEG —; The family of Chase Martens is “heartbroken” and “devastated” after the two-year-old was found in a creek near Austin, Manitoba after an exhaustive five-day search.
The toddler was last seen on Tuesday evening in the front yard of his family’s rural home.
Thousands of searchers combed the area around the clock until his body was discovered on Saturday afternoon at around 1 p.m.
In a statement on behalf of the Martens family, Canadian Centre for Child Protection thanked the community for their support.
“The family of Chase Martens is completely devastated as they come to grips with the tragic loss of their little boy,” the statement read.
“[The family] would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the RCMP, Manitoba Fire Commissioner and the caring and generous community volunteers who searched around the clock. ”
“While [the Martens] are completely heartbroken, they have been overwhelmed by the love and kindness our community has shown their family.”
The statement also said the family is asking for privacy in this time.
RCMP say foul play is not suspected in the case but the investigation hasn’t been closed and an autopsy will be performed.
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Condolences have been pouring in for the Martens family.
Reaction to Chase’s death has also come quickly on social media.
My heart goes out to Chases’ family. What a terrible loss. I can’t imagine the loss of my little boy. #ripchase
— Matt Allard (@mathieuallard) March 26, 2016
My heart is aching finding out about this tragic news #ripchase ❤️
— Taylor (@tayloraspring) March 26, 2016
#ripchase prayers out to the Martens family. 😔
— Kalvin Mendez (@kalvinjayy) March 27, 2016
A vigil is being held in Austin at 6 p.m. on Sunday in honour of Chase Martens.