Body found in hunt for missing toddler
Police in New Zealand today found a body in a drain near where a toddler went missing a week earlier.
Two-year-old Aisling Symes, whose father Allan is originally from County Waterford in Ireland, disappeared from a suburb of Auckland on the evening of October 5.
Her parents received the news they had been dreading when police announced today that they had discovered the body of a young child.
New Zealand Police stressed that it had not been confirmed that it was Aisling but said officers were with her family.
The grim discovery was made in a drain in the suburb of Henderson just after 8pm New Zealand time (8am UK time) following several hours of intense searching.
The area has been cordoned off and is being treated as a crime scene.
New Zealand Police said in a statement: "Clearly the team investigating the disappearance of Aisling Symes is heavily involved in tonight's events and staff from the investigation are with the Symes family tonight.
"It's too early to know how long the child has been in the drain or how it got there.
"The child has not been identified nor can we confirm what gender it is at this stage."
Aisling went missing from her late grandparents' house in Henderson at about 5.30pm last Monday while her parents were clearing the property.
Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter Madeleine has been missing since May 2007, sent a message of support to the little girl's parents last week.
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...