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Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

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Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Chicane on Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:33 pm

Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found




Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found




9:20PM Monday Oct 12, 2009
By Staff reporters


The Mayor of Waitakere Bob Harvey has confirmed to the NZ Herald a
body has been found near the Henderson property where two-year-old
Aisling Symes went missing.
Earlier, neighbours reported a drainage crew inspecting a storm water line near the property with a camera.A police camera crew has just entered the crimescene.
A senior crime officer was seen entering the area with a small box with
nother policeman entered the area with an industrial flashlight.

Police and the fire service have been excavating at the back of the Henderson
property with 3News reporting raw sewage spilling from the excavation site.
Firefighters have been working on the storm water drain since about 6pm on Pomaria Rd, a street connecting with Longburn Rd. Officers continue to guard access points leading to the stream behind 7 Longburn
Rd, the former home of Aisling's deceased grandparents.

have seen a crowd of neighbours, children and other community members gather outside the property.Aisling was last seen at 5pm last Monday, near the Longburn Rd home.Police earlier today cancelled a press conference scheduled for this afternoon.Aisling's mother, Angela, has maintained her daughter went missing while she had her back turned at the house.

Reward on offer

The development follows an offer of a $50,000 reward from British
aristocrat Lord Ashcroft for information leading to the safe return of
Aisling.
Last year, Lord Ashcroft offered a reward of $200,000 after the Waiouru Army Museum's war medals were stolen.

Mystery Asian woman


The last person thought to have seen Aisling was a 9-year-old child - who
reported seeing an Asian woman with a dog approach the toddler near the
Longburn Rd home. It is the strongest lead police have had and
they've asked to hear from anyone with information on the woman -
described as being in her mid 30s, about 165cm tall, of medium build
with long, straight black hair.
The woman had a dog and was wearing a black crew-neck top with three-quarter-length sleeves,
three-quarter-length blue jeans and black leather sandals with black
socks.The number of police now working on the disappearance of Aisling has increased to 70.Police appeal for informationInspector Gary Davey said police had received a lot of information on the case."We are still appealing for anyone who has her to come forward. We just want her back."Earlier
today he said he was still hopeful someone had abducted the toddler and
was looking after her but could not rule out other possibilities."My own genuine hope or gut feeling is that somebody does have her and she is still alive," he told Newstalk ZB today.

"I believe that. I am optimistic, I believe family are and certainly
the investigation team are optimistic that we can find Aisling."Yesterday, Mr Davey urged the person responsible either to contact him or drop Aisling at a hospital."Whoever
you are, you might be scared or intimidated by police activity over the
past week. Don't be - call me. We just want to know where Aisling is,"
he said.Mr Davey reminded parents to be vigilant "without becoming unduly fearful" when sending children back to school today. Longburn Rd was deserted yesterday, with unmarked police cars parked in the
driveway of the house from which Aisling disappeared.

Persons of interest


Mr Davey said police would continue profiling people of interest, and sorting information from the public."While
several people of interest have been profiled by the intelligence
section and suspect team, we have not had any strong information that
might lead us directly to Aisling," he said.
News of Aisling's disappearance is making headlines in father Alan Symes' native Ireland.He emigrated to New Zealand - with sister Aithne and mother Olwyn - more than 18 years ago.Mrs Symes said Aisling had started learning the Irish counting system and loved potatoes."She always used to get into the spuds and when she started teething we would find bite marks in the raw potatoes."





NZ Herald


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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by clairesy on Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:08 pm

im confused by the report??Is the body found that of the two year old child??Or not?

It states they have found a body near the house where she missing from...yet they state they are asking whoever took her to come forward or drop her off a nearby hospital etc etc.

Hmmm is it me or is anybody else confused by that report.
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:52 pm

Iīm confused too.

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Update

Post by Chicane on Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:35 am

Missing toddler: Police find body in drain
10:55PM Monday Oct 12, 2009
By Staff reporters

It was with "tremendous sorrow" that Inspector Gary Davey confirmed to a crowd outside a west Auckland home that a child's body had been found earlier this evening.

The body is that of a young child found in a drain.


The property was very close to the Longburn address where two-year-old toddler Aisling Symes went missing last Monday.

Mr Davey said it was too early to say how the child got in the drain or how long it had been there.

Police have spoken to the family.

"The immediate scene has been cordoned off and treated as a crime scene," he said.

"I know you've got a lot of questions and so do I."

Mr Davey said the body had not yet been identified as Aisling Symes.

A group of neighbours are holding candles across the road from where the body was found.

An emotional principal of nearby Pomaria Primary School, Kevin Choromanski, said he would be briefed by Mr Davey this evening.

"I look around and this is all my community, my children," he said, referring to the large crowd outside.

One young child passed and said to Mr Choromanski, "They found her in a drain, eh."

Mr Choromanski described it as "numbing".

He said an assembly will likely be held tomorrow but no decision has been made yet.

After Mr Davey's press conference, neighbours brought flowers to outside the property where pastor Major Mervyn Phelps was waiting to speak to the parents of Alan Symes.

Mr Phelps said he is retired but felt it to be his obligation to be with the family at this time.

Earlier, the Mayor of Waitakere Bob Harvey confirmed to the NZ Herald a body had been found near the Henderson property where Aisling went missing.

As activity heightened on Pomaria Rd this evening, a street connecting with Longburn Rd, neighbours reported a drainage crew inspecting a storm water line near the property with a camera.

A police camera crew also entered the crime scene.

A senior crime officer was seen entering the area with a small box while another policeman entered the area with an industrial flashlight.

Firefighters began working on the storm water drain on Pomaria Rd around 6pm.

The developments saw a crowd of neighbours, children and other community members gather outside the property.

Aisling was last seen at 5pm last Monday, near her grandparents Longburn Rd home.

Police earlier today cancelled a press conference scheduled for this afternoon.

Aisling's mother, Angela, has maintained her daughter went missing while she had her back turned at the house.

She was missing for just over a week before tonight's discovery.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10602845
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by AlexG on Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:26 am

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:07 am

Alex, I think itīs wrong to assume that is the body of Aisling, when, according to Auckland police inspector Gary Davey, and I quote: "it is too early to determine for certain that it is Aisling". Iīm not saying that it is or it is not, just saying that neither you nor anyone should assume that, without certains from Inspector Gary Davey. So, I advise you to restrain your comments.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Rosie on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:31 am

I cannot see it being any other child. However, whoever the poor little child is he/she has died and I feel deep sorrow for the family, so very very sad.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by AlexG on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:42 am

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:44 am

Rosiepops, with all do respect, Iīm not putting aside the hypothesis of being Aisling, I say again, until certains from the Inspector, people may think, but, only the Inspector can know for sure, once the tests were carried on the body. So, I think itīs better to wait for the results, and not start speculate about it, donīt you agree? So, I think itīs better to restrain comments, before the results were known.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:45 am

Although, even if itīs not Aisling, rest in peace.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by AlexG on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:49 am

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:58 am

I say again, Iīm going to wait for the test results, letīs hope that this child, whoever it is, had not suffered. Rest in peace.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by dianeh on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:03 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to Aisling's parents. To lose a child is a terrible thing, with their grief made worse by the agony of not knowing what happened to her for the past week.

Rest in peace, little baby, taken from this world far too early.
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Rosie on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:07 am

Pedro Silva wrote:Although, even if itīs not Aisling, rest in peace.

Hi Pedro this is what I mean and I think what Alex means too, whoever it it is, it is a child and desperately sad and someone will be grieving and my heart goes out to them.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by dianeh on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:18 am


Keeping Mum




Dita De Boni looks at the trials and tribulations of being a parent and mother to her two children
Every parent's worst nightmare

0 comments

10:00PM Monday October 12, 2009





Oh God. Oh God. The worst nightmare of mothers and fathers everywhere - and particularly the parents of little Aisling Symes - appears to have come to pass tonight with the news a toddler's body has been found at a property adjoining the spot Aisling last played with members of her family.

I can not even imagine how horrific the experience is for the Symes family, but I know that parents everywhere have done nothing but shiver in horror every time this story is mentioned.

One friend of mine couldn't even follow the coverage because she couldn't bear it - and I'm sure she's not the only one.

How many parents spend time thinking of losing their children to something terrible? Many of us, for sure. I know I do. For some reason, each night before drifting off to sleep I concoct some fevered imagination in my brain which sees one or other child wiped out before my eyes and I am helpless to do anything.

Losing any child is beyond the pale, but for some reason losing a two-year-old is so poignant. They are so little, so uninhibited and wild, and yet often teasingly showing their parents glimpses of the person they are going to become. They can say a few words, sing a few notes and melt glaciers with their smiles. They've lived so much of the good life already - if they are lucky - but have so much more to bustle about doing.

A story like this brings it home for us how important it is to be ever-vigilant with our toddlers - and this is absolutely not meant as any disrespect to Angela Symes, who seems to only have been doing the same as any one of us has in our years trying to run households, hold down jobs and raise children.

For those that constantly harp these days about toughening children up, letting them experience danger, not putting them in cotton wool, I say walk a mile in the shoes of Angela and Alan Symes before blithely spouting such nonsense. It's all very well to hark back to times gone by, but they were also very dangerous times for children. Farms and homes have claimed hundreds of young victims when curiosity drove them out of their parents' line of sight.

Whatever the outcome of tonight's unimaginable find is, our thoughts are naturally with everyone involved. From the cops who have had to immerse themselves in this miserable situation each day, to the parents and family who have lived every agonising hour waiting for good news since last Monday, and of course for the little girl, Aisling Symes, whose short life has touched every corner of New Zealand.
Top: Alan and Angela Symes comfort each other at a press conference held during the search for their missing daughter, two-year-old Aisling. Photo / Sarah Ivey



I found this article very moving. And very true, we all experience these thoughts and fears for our children, and luckily most of us never will know the pain that Aisling's parents are going through.
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:24 am

I Agree, "whoever it is, it is a child and desperately sad and someone will be grieving and my heart goes out to them".

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Chicane on Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:31 am

It's a bit strange. In The Netherlands and in Belgium it is confirmed that the child's body found is that of Aisling Symes.
Vermiste peuter (2) dood teruggevonden in rioolput


Translation: Missing toddler (2) found dead in drain.

In yesterday's NZ newspaper:



A MAN tried to snatch a 10-year-old boy just half a kilometre away from where Aisling Symes vanished two days later, Sunday News can reveal.


The schoolboy was approached by a man in his 30s two days before two-year-old Aisling's disappearance, Sunday News has learned. He offered to buy him sweets as he shopped in the Discount Food Mart, on Rathgar Rd, Henderson.
``I asked the shop person the price of the candy and, when she said $4, the man asked if he could pay for me and said I could go along with him. It made me feel weird,'' the boy said.
He ran screaming from the store, which is close to where two-year-old Aisling went missing from her late grandparents home in Longburn Rd last Monday.The boy's mum, who is desperately concerned for Aisling, said: "It could have been anyone's kid and even ours. I always tell my son not to go off on his own but he doesn't listen.

"From what has happened in the last week in this area it is going to make me a lot more careful.

"I didn't like hearing about what happened in the shop with my son. Who knows if the guy was joking but my son did the right thing."

Police questioned the boy on Thursday and again last night for several hours.

Police spokesperson Noreen Hegarty downplayed the incident. She said police believed the man hadn't made any attempt to "abduct" or "lure" the boy away from his family.

She said police were not seeking the man. Asked why police then interviewed the boy's parents, Hegarty said they had to "take everything that comes to this investigation seriously".

The boy, who Sunday News has agreed not to identity, was in the superette around 12.30pm last Saturday while his mum and aunt were in Creative Cutz hairdressers nearby.

"I was by the candy and the guy came up to me and gave me a really strange look and started talking to me," the boy said.

He was concerned that the stranger, who described as about 33, Maori or Pacific Islander, wanted to buy him candy.

"That made me worried," said the schoolboy.

"Suddenly I ran out of the store screaming for my mum as I thought he wanted to kidnap me.

"I was scared, pretty scared. The man then got in his car and drove off and I told mum not to look at him in the face."

The brave lad knew he had to run away from stranger danger. "I've been told that if someone wants to give you something or take you anywhere you just say `no' and get away," he said.

The boy's family reported the incident to police after learning of Aisling's disappearance.

Harrison Williams, the owner of Creative Cutz hairdressing, has also been spoken to by police.

Aisling's parents Angela and Alan, who have another daughter Caitlin, five, have been made aware of the suspected abduction near Angela's deceased parents' home. Angela was cleaning the vacant house when Aisling wandered off.

Police said last night that "several people of interest have been profiled by the intelligence section and suspect team".

About 60 police are investigating the disappearance of Aisling, last seen with an unidentified Asian woman who was walking a black and grey medium-sized dog in Longburn Rd. Police have still not traced her.

Inspector Gary Davey, heading the six-day-long hunt for Aisling, would not comment on the superette incident. He said in a statement: "We have not had any strong information that might lead us directly to Aisling."

Security guard Alan, who emigrated from Ireland 20 years ago, told Sunday News that the last 24 hours had been the most "difficult of the last week".

"We had a very unsettled night. The wait is so painful," Alan added.

"As time goes on it gets so much harder, but we are not giving up on our little girl. We never will." Angela broke her silence on Friday. "She belongs with us. She needs to be back with us."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-news/2952124/Boy-fled-stranger-danger
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:13 am

I agree with Chicane, very strange. How can those newspapers, and I quote: "Itīs a bit strange. In the Netherlands and in Belgium it is confirmed that the childīs body found is that of Aisling Symes", when Inspector Gary Davey had not confirmed that.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:15 am

In my opinion, more speculation, with the purpose of increase sales of those newspapers.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by dianeh on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:20 am

Pedro

It is logical to assume that this body is that of little Aisling. This is NZ, and no other toddler children are missing, and it is the adjacent property. Although the papers have jumped the gun, it is most likely that they are correct.
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by AlexG on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:25 am

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by calcite51 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:02 am

I agree Alex - it is a time for deep silence and a tear of sorrow. The poor parents of this child - how heartbroken they must be.
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Pedro Silva on Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:20 am

I agree my friend Calcite, regardless of being or not Aisling.

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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by Tinkerbell43 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:42 am

This is just too unbearable for words.

My heart aches for this family.

Sleep peacefully baby girl Beautiful rose
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Re: Missing toddler: Mayor confirms body found

Post by christabel on Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:05 am

Updated 9:32AM Tuesday Oct 13, 2009
By Herald reporters
Aisling Symes disappeared at 5pm last Monday. Photo / Supplied


The drain where Aisling Symes was found had been searched by police and her father on the day she disappeared, but her body was not discovered until last night, police said this morning.
Police last night found Aisling's body in a stormwater drain at 5 Longburn Rd, about 20m from the home of Aisling's deceased grandparents at No 7, from which she went missing
Police and later Aisling's father searched the drain on the day the two-year-old went missing but her body was not found until about 8 o'clock last night.
It has not yet been formally identified but throughout a media conference this morning inquiry head Inspector Gary Davey referred to it as that of Aisling.
Mr Davey said cameras from water services had been used to search the drain but the body was still not located until the drain was dug up and cut open with a concrete cutter.
"Unfortunately once we did cut open the drain we were able to see Aisling."


The body was removed from the drainpipe about 1am today.

"I truly hoped we would find her alive and bring her home to her family," Mr Davey said. "Sadly that is not to be the case."
Initial search
When a police officer first looked down the pipe on the day of Aisling's disappearance the manhole cover had been ajar about 10cm, Mr Davey said. He saw no sign of a body.
"He called out and did not hear anything other than running water,' Mr Davey said.
The officer then searched towards the stream and 15 minutes later returned to the manhole, climbed about two metres down the larger access pipe after moving the manhole cover back.
He shone his torch down the smaller 375mm drain at the bottom and could see nothing. He also called her name but there was no response.
"He believed he could see five metres up into the drain and five metres down the drain."
The drain was searched for a third time later in the night by search and rescue searchers, Mr Davey said.
During the search Aisling's father Alan Symes also climbed down the pipe and looked for his daughter, said Mr Davey.
He said the manhole cover was about 600mm wide and weighed about 20kg, something well beyond the capacity of a child to move.
He said part of the police inquiry would be to establish how Aisling got into the drain.
Yesterday's search
Mr Davey said when the search was reviewed this week a decision was made to use specialist techniques to search the drain and the camera probe was put down.
"We searched both ends of that drain with cameras. Even as a result of that camera search we were still unable to locate or identify Aisling."
The drain had a history of blockages and the decision was then made to dig up the drain, Mr Davey said.
It eventually took five hours work of digging and the use of a concrete cutter to find the body, he said.
Mr Davey said he believed police had done all they could to find her.
"I'm confident that the police did everything that they could that night to find her within that drain, with the resources that they had," he said.
"You need to bear in mind that she was found 36 metres from the manhole and a metre-and-a-half underground."
The drain - said to be about 38cm wide - ran downhill and had Aisling crawled into it she would have been unable to turn around, Mr Davey said.
He said it was raining at the time and there was water flowing in the drain, which might have also swept her along.
Mr Davey said he thought the body had been in the drain the whole time and suspected misadventure, though he said he was unable to rule out foul play.
Family distraught
Mr Davey had yet to inform Aisling's family of all the details around the discovery of her body.
He said the family were "extremely distraught" and when they felt up to it he would sit down and answer their questions.
"I visited the family last night, they are extremely upset to the point of being distraught," he said.
"My heart goes out to them for losing their little girl and I know it's going to be a very tough few days.
"It is small solace to know that at least the one small thing is they can now grieve and move on and have their little girl at home."
Mr Davey said the Asian woman, seen walking a dog in the street where Aisling went missing eight days ago, had been identified, but not yet located.
Identification had been through profiling people who had in the past shown suspicious behaviour and activity.
Family's Facebook posting
A message on the Facebook page 'Find Aisling' set up by Aisling's family today thanked people for their support and asked them to pray for them "as this is going to be the hardest time of our lives".
"I am extremely devastated to have to report to you that Aisling's body has been found in a drain near where she went missing," the posting read.
"If even the smallest positive can come from this at least we know we did all we could, it was a national effort, and thank you all for that, it did bring us together as a country, and proved at least that we are a nation full of caring and compassionate people, who genuinely want to help those in need, thank you all for that.
"Also, there is slight comfort in knowing that she is safe in heaven, and being held and looked after by God himself."
Community shocked
Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey described the find as "the worst possible outcome".
It came after police spent the afternoon and evening excavating vacant land behind the property, beside a creek.
Long-time Longburn Rd resident Ian Holmes, who lives two doors away and knew Aisling's grandparents well, was shocked to learn a body had been found.
Mr Holmes, who was among hundreds of Aucklanders who turned out to search a tributary of Henderson Creek where it was initially feared Aisling might have disappeared, said he was about to "bawl my eyes out".
"I'm just gutted ... For God's sake, it's unbelievable," he said.
"We've lived here 30 years and known her grandparents very well."
NZ Herald reporting team: Edward Gay, Rachel Tiffen, Andrew Koubaridis, Mathew Dearnaley, Yvonne Tahana, Beck Vass, Kara Segedin and NZPA
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