Bodies of missing boys found in Townsville river

Bodies of missing boys found in a Townsville river

The Queensland Police Service have sadly located the bodies of the 3-year-old and 5-year-old brothers who went missing from Cranbrook.

Police have found the bodies of two young brothers who were reported missing in a Townsville suburb on Monday.

The boys, 3 and 5, went missing about 5.30pm in the suburb of Cranbrook.

The brothers, who lived near the park where they were found, were captured on CCTV walking alone down a suburban street towards the river on Monday.

CCTV footage of the boys on Monday afternoon.
CCTV footage of the boys on Monday afternoon. Photo: Queensland Police Service

Police said on Tuesday they found the bodies in the Ross River near Cranbrook Park about 5am.

Townsville’s deputy mayor Les Walker said the news sent “shockwaves” through the community already coping with the aftermath of disastrous floods this month.

“It is just horrific to wake up and find out two little boys are dead,” he said. “It is a tragedy.”

Police said the community had “come out in force” to search for the children overnight.

A woman who helped search for the boys for five hours wrote about the community's efforts to find them on Facebook.

“Like the many people we met last night, everyone just hoped the boys had huddled up somewhere together for the night to wait for daylight,” she posted.

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“We yelled out their names through the tall grasses and the trees saying it was OK, it’s time to come out, your mum wants to see you both. To say I feel devastated for the family is an understatement.

“May their beautiful souls fly high now and they have many more adventures together. RIP boys.”

An Amber Alert was issued by police after the boys went missing about 5.30pm on Monday.

There were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Support will be offered to students of the nearby Cranbrook State School, which the five-year-old boy attended.

Senior Sergeant Ian Wilkie told the Nine Network the boys had been spotted swimming in the river on Monday.

He said the discovery of the two bodies close together had been “distressing” for police.

“We can only imagine what the family is going through. The grief, I imagine, would be unbearable for them," Senior Sergeant Wilkie said.

“We had hoped for a better outcome but unfortunately that was not to be.”

Townsville’s officer in charge of child protection Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Miles said the discovery came after an “extensive” land, air and water search.

He said the boys were frequent swimmers in the Ross River and while their bodies were found in the water, it was too early to say what the cause of death was.

“The boys ... were in a small cutaway area of the river. From the recent flood events it is quite deep and quite a steep bank and there is some vegetation there,” Senior Sergeant Miles said.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.