Community searches river banks for missing N.S. toddler; day four of search
TRURO, N.S. -- It was a cold and wet Saturday afternoon in Truro, N.S., as search and rescue crews extensively combed the river banks for a fourth straight day – looking for three-year-old Dylan Ehler.
Ehler was last seen Wednesday afternoon when he was outside with his grandmother. When she was momentarily distracted, the toddler disappeared. Later that night, his boots were found in separate areas along the river that runs near her home.
By Thursday evening, the difficult decision was made to move the search for Dylan from rescue to recovery.
On Saturday, the search continued along the shoreline - close to where Dylan's boots were found.
The command post moved its operation from the Truro police station to the Timbits soccer field near the water on Friday night, with dozens of people having become involved with the recovery effort.
"This is when you see the absolute best of people," says Truro councillor, Cathy Hinton. "At the worst of times and in the cold frigid water, and everything they've gone through in these tragedies, I am humbled just to watch them and what they do – it's just unbelievable."
As the town continues to grieve, many community members are offering their support – in a variety of comforting displays.
"Very grateful in so many ways to see the support for the community; support for Colchester County, Truro, and for family and friends," says Hinton. "If there ever was a situation that was difficult, it was now – these major tragedies keep happening."
In addition to the missing three-year-old, the province has been experiencing more than its fair share of tragedy following a mass shooting, deceased military members – all while being in the midst of a pandemic.
"We can't grieve in the normal way," says Hinton. "We can't bring them food; we can't hug or reach out because of the limitations in place. We have to follow what we've been told to do and social distance – it's so difficult right now."
Despite the seeming marathon of tragedy, Hinton says she believes the community can make it through tough times together.
"The feeling in the community is really low right now – people [are feeling] very helpless," says Hinton. "But we just have to move forward – we need support from each other, kindness, understanding and love."
Hinton represents the ward where Dylan went missing and says she's received messages from across the country – including people from Ontario who want to send a shawl and quilt to Dylan's mother.
"I will be contacting her, and when the time is right, I will deliver those to her," says Hinton. "I'm sure those would give her comfort just to know how many people, right across the country, are reaching out and caring so much about her and the whole family."
Truro police say they want to thank the community for its support during such difficult times. Officials say the search will continue along the shoreline of the Salmon River during the weekend. Police expect to provide an update on Monday.
Meanwhile, members of the ground search and rescue team say they will continue to search from sunrise to sunset, despite cold and rainy conditions – all in hopes of providing closure to the family and community.