“We’re just all very sad here,” said the mayor of Askim, a rural town southeast of Oslo, after police divers found the body of a seven-year-old boy at the bottom of a dam in the town’s central park. A preliminary autopsy report released Friday concluded the boy died from drowning.
He’d been reported missing when he didn’t come home after school on Tuesday afternoon. A massive search was launched by the local chapters of the Red Cross and Norwegian People’s Aid to augment the police efforts. Several hundred volunteers took part. Divers from the local emergency services found the boy in the partially frozen-over dam around midnight.
“This is very, very tough,” the principal at the boy’s school, Tone Kjenæs, told state broadcaster NRK. “There were so many people out looking for the boy. Now it’s very quiet here.”
Police continued to investigate the boy’s movements after he left the school, and were questioning friends, family and witnesses who observed the boy Tuesday afternoon. His father had come to pick him up, but the boy reportedly preferred to walk home on his own, as he’d done several times before. Police said they had no reason to suspect he’d been the victim of any crime, and a crisis team was assisting the family.