'Family' of volunteers continue search for Kaden Young, 3, swept into Grand River

'Family' of volunteers continue search for Kaden Young, 3, swept into Grand River
From CBC - March 13, 2018

As a father and friend of the family, Richard Croft says it was a no-brainer to help in the search for three-year-old Kaden Young, who went missing in the Grand River three weeks ago.

Kaden was in his family's van, being driven by his mother Michelle Hanson, just before 1 a.m. on Feb. 21 when it went into rising flood waters from the Grand River. The river had overflowed its banks and flowed over the road near their home just outside Grand Valley.

Hanson tried to get herself and Kaden out of the van, but as she did, Kaden was swept out of her arms in rising flood waters

A booster seat and a T-shirt have been found, but there have been no other significant signs of Kaden, police said.

Croft has stepped up to mobilize hundreds of volunteers to do grid and line searches along the Grand River.

"I am just one to help and this is one of these situations where they really need help," he told CBC K-W's The Morning Edition Tuesday.

Slow and steady searches

Each morning at 9 a.m., volunteers meet at Kaden's family's home in the hamlet of Waldemar, west of Orangeville.

The van went in less than a kilometre from the family's home and searchers have been covering the area from where the van entered the river down to Belwood Lake near Fergus about 15 kilometers away.

A tent is set up in the driveway of the family's home and volunteers meet there to be separated into teams of 10 to 15 people. It's also where they can pick up supplies like pickaxes, chainsaws as well as water and food.

Croft said the teams then head out to designated areas to begin searching. One person is at the river's edge and the others form a line up the bank. Each person is responsible for the three meters around them and they move slowly.

Where before searchers were covering three to five kilometers each day, Croft said now they are picking through 300 to 500 metres a day, turning over everything they can and marking what they ca not move.

In some areas, heavy equipment has been brought in to break up and move ice that remains on the ground three weeks after the flooding.

"It's unbelievable the amount of machinery we have out there for the places that we ca not get a man to move stuff," he said. "It's just unbelievableyou have got 6 foot high walls of ice jammed all together from the river."

Hear Richard Croft on CBC K-W's The Morning Edition:

A job for everyone

'An amazing little boy'


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