Monday, April 15, 2024

Pictured: Little boy, two, still missing after falling into the River Soar as family call him a ‘bundle of joy’ and say ‘we just want him to be found’

The two-year-old boy still missing after falling into the River Soar has been pictured – as his family called him a ‘bundle of joy’ and said: ‘We just want him to be found.’

A search has been ongoing in the area near Aylestone in Leicestershire since Sunday afternoon after the toddler now identified as Xielo was reported to have fallen into the water.

Leicestershire Police initially called off the first night’s search just four hours after he went missing but have ramped up efforts in subsequent days. 

Xielo’s family today described their son as a ‘cheeky, funny’ boy who is ‘a bundle of joy’ and have also thanked members of the community for their ongoing support.

Xielo’s mother said: ‘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.

The two-year-old boy missing since Sunday in Leicestershire has been named as Xielo

The two-year-old boy missing since Sunday in Leicestershire has been named as Xielo

Leicestershire Police officers are continuing their search of the River Soar near Aylestone

Leicestershire Police officers are continuing their search of the River Soar near Aylestone

The hunt continues after Xielo was reported falling into the water last Sunday at about 5pm

The hunt continues after Xielo was reported falling into the water last Sunday at about 5pm

The search is taking place in the River Soar near Aylestone Meadows Local Nature Reserve

The search is taking place in the River Soar near Aylestone Meadows Local Nature Reserve

‘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. We thank everyone who has supported us and helped us during this time. We are extremely grateful for this.

‘All we want is for Xielo to be found as soon as possible. Thank you.’

Xielo’s father 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.

‘We would like to thank the search teams at the scene. We would also like to thank members of the public for all of your support. It is your prayers which are keeping us strong.

‘We kindly ask that people wait for updates through the authorities in relation to the search as we continue to be overwhelmed with enquiries and messages at this time.

‘Thank you all for your ongoing love and support.’

Police have raised concerns about rescue efforts being hampered by rising tides, as the Environment Agency issued a flood warning for the Upper Soar catchment area. 

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the Upper Soar catchment area

The Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for the Upper Soar catchment area

A police helicopter was sighted searching the river in Braunstone, Leicestershire, at about 5.40pm on Sunday - later replaced with a drone

A police helicopter was sighted searching the river in Braunstone, Leicestershire, at about 5.40pm on Sunday – later replaced with a drone

The helicopter returned at 6.40pm after refuelling and was seen lighting up the search area

The helicopter returned at 6.40pm after refuelling and was seen lighting up the search area

Police and fire crews initially called off their hunt for the child on Sunday at about 9.30pm

Police and fire crews initially called off their hunt for the child on Sunday at about 9.30pm

Extra resources have been sent to the scene near Aylestone and Braunstone this week

Extra resources have been sent to the scene near Aylestone and Braunstone this week

Leicestershire Police says the toddler's family is being supported while searches continue

Leicestershire Police says the toddler’s family is being supported while searches continue

Police are concerned about rising water levels in the area and flooding as they keep searching

Police are concerned about rising water levels in the area and flooding as they keep searching

Tactical Support Unit boats have been sent into action while officers have entered the river too

Tactical Support Unit boats have been sent into action while officers have entered the river too

Police earlier this week revealed how the boy’s father had jumped into the river to try to save him, police confirmed today, as officers vowed: ‘We will bring him home.’

The parent was taken to hospital as a ‘precautionary measure’ after going into the water to try to save him but was later discharged. 

Drones, helicopters and specialist divers have been involved in the ongoing search, as well as back-up officers and resources have arrived from other forces including Lincolnshire Police, Nottinghamshire Police and London’s Metropolitan Police.

Officers have said they wanted to get in touch with a dog walker who was in the area at the time the toddler was swept away. 

Further information regarding the ongoing search can be found here on the Leicestershire Police website.

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