A week after 15-year-old Siem Zerezghi was last seen at his Bradford home, in the area of Professor Day Drive and Northgate Drive, the search for him ended tragically on Friday evening when the Ontario Provincial Police Underwater Search and Recovery Unit located a body in a pond.
South Simcoe Police confirmed the discovery at a media conference.
“We’re disappointed that it’s ended this way,” said Sgt. Dave Phillips. “But we’re going to continue to investigate to determine what exactly happened and tighten up those timelines to have a better understanding of the final days.
The pond is in an open field in the area of the 8th Line and Professor Day Drive. Police said OPP divers were called to the scene following the discovery of items believed to belong to Zerezghi.
Police said on Thursday they had obtained two separate videos that confirmed the teen was in his neighbourhood around 7:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Officers launched a massive search for Zerezghi, scouring fields, wooded areas and backyards using a drone, ATVs and the K9 Unit. An OPP helicopter joined the search on Friday.
“It’s a tragic time,” Phillips said. “The community has come out with just an overwhelming amount of support. Everyone wanted to see this end in a different way.”
Police said it was too early to determine if foul play was involved. They said an updated will be provided on Monday.
Police said the boy’s family has been notified and they have asked for privacy.
The family moved to Bradford two years ago.
In a statement, Bradford Mayor Rob Keffer issued a statement on behalf of town council and staff.
“There are no words to adequately express how terrible the loss of a child is to a family, and as a father, I can only imagine the pain that Siem’s family and friends are experiencing right now,” the statement reads.
“This community has come together over the past several days to look for Siem and to pray for his safe recovery, and now we come together to mourn him.”
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Mayor Keffer and all of council and staff share our deepest condolences to the family of Siem Zerezghi. pic.twitter.com/sHZUolInx4— Town of BWG (@TownofBWG) October 31, 2020