OPP scaling back search of Lake Erie for missing 9-year-old Alexander Ottley

Ontario Provincial Police say after trying to find a young boy who was swept into Lake Erie in Haldimand County for more than a week, officers are scaling back the search for his body.

“Despite their best efforts after an extensive search in the area of Peacock Point and outlying areas of Lake Erie as well as the shoreline, the OPP underwater search and recovery unit has completed their search operation at the end of day on Tuesday,” the OPP said in a statement Tuesday evening.

“Unfortunately, the body of nine-year-old Alex Ottley has not been recovered.”

It was on the afternoon of Feb. 15 when police said two children, Ottley and an eight-year-old boy, were on an ice edge and a wave swept them into Lake Erie, about 50 kilometres south of Hamilton.

A 10-year-old girl with the boys ran and flagged someone down for help. A couple in a vehicle went out onto the ice and saved the eight-year-old boy, but Ottley didn’t resurface.

Police said the search for Ottley has been extensive.

“Throughout the week, the OPP underwater search and recovery unit have utilized sonar scan and sent divers in the water when weather conditions permitted,” the statement said, adding an OPP helicopter searched from the air.

“Shoreline searches were also completed with the assistance of uniform officers from the detachment and emergency response team members.”

Officers said helicopter and shoreline searches will now only happen “periodically.”

Meanwhile, anyone with information was asked to call police at 1-888-310-1122.

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