“Today, which is March 14, at approximately 2:50 pm, members of the Middlesex Ontario Provincial Police and the OPP Emergency Response Team located the body of a young female in Gentleman's Creek on the north side, east of Mayfair Road,” says Constable Liz Melvin, spokesperson with the OPP in London.
“The identity of the young person was confirmed as Kayla Maybee, age 8 of southwest Middlesex.”
Kayla Maybee was last seen on March 5, standing on a piece of ice in the swollen Gentleman Creek. She slipped and fell in to the frigid waters. Kayla was playing with her two friends on the ice at the edge of the creek behind her home.
The search began shortly after she fell into the water and police, firefighters and volunteers had been scouring the neighbourhood in search of the girl. Poor weather conditions that developed last week, forced police to suspend recovery efforts. Ice that formed across the water was too thin to support the divers at the time.
“Although the search was suspended in terms of our divers not being in the area, we did continue to use our ground member's expertise in monitoring the water levels and we waited for safer water conditions,” explains Melvin. “The water level has significantly receded from the time that Kayla Maybee went missing, so today the water level was lower and we were fortunate in being able to locate her, but unfortunately she's deceased.”
The tragedy has deeply saddened the community and according to Southwest Middlesex Mayor Doug Reycraft, it's the first incident of this kind in the municipality for many years.
Police continue to urge residents to stay away from the banks and ice surfaces of ponds, rivers and streams as mild temperatures and rising water levels can become a huge risk at this time of year.
With files from Jill Colton