Body of presumed drowning victim recovered

The body of a 14-year-old boy who drowned in the Oldman River last Friday has now been recovered. 

On July 13, 2018 at approximately 7:30 p.m two kayakers located a body in the Oldman River just north of the city limits that matched the description of the missing 14-year-old boy. Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services, the Coalhurst Fire Department and the RCMP assisted with the recovery. 

The boy’s body will be transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Calgary to confirm his identity and the police investigation will remain active pending the results of an autopsy. 

There is no evidence to suggest foul play. 

Police thank the members of the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services Water Rescue Team for their tireless efforts and dedication. Police also thank members of the Lethbridge and Area Search and Rescue Association for their assistance. 

The Alexander Wilderness Park has now re-opened to the public. 

No further information will be released. 

BACKGROUND: 

On July 6, 2018 at approximately 7:42 p.m. police responded to a report of a missing youth in the Oldman River. The boy had been walking with a 14-year-old male friend and the friend’s 59-year-old grandmother in the Alexander Wilderness Park when the group entered the water to cross the river and he subsequently lost his footing and went under. The grandmother attempted to pull the boy to safety but her efforts were unsuccessful. Upon getting to shore she immediately called 911 and members of the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services Water Rescue Team initiated a search. Police officers, including patrol members and K9, assisted by combing the banks and used an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to conduct an aerial search. The search was suspended after dark and resumed in the morning. Since that time Fire Department divers have searched the water and LPS has continued to use a UAV. Members of the Lethbridge and Area Search and Rescue Association (LASARA) were also deployed to assist in searching the banks. On July 12 efforts transitioned from underwater diving to a surface recovery search and continued until July 13 when the body was located.