Investigation into tragic loss of 3-year-old found dead in pond continues

June 25, 2019 08:03 AM

ONTARIO, N.Y. (WHEC) — On Sunday, long after the picnics had ended, Casey Park in Ontario had closed and darkness had set in. A search and rescue operation was in full swing for three-year-old Zyvette Marquez-Rivera

On Monday, however, state police had a new mission.

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"Now, the focus will be on how this incident occurred...we've interviewed several people who were at the park last night and we will continue to investigate this matter," said New York State Police Capt. Barry Chase. "As you can imagine with a child, we get as many resources as we can...yes we had state police helicopter with thermo-imaging, the fire departments were here also and they actually have thermo-imaging also so they were in the woods." 

On Sunday, the young girl had been out at the park with family, playing with other kids when at some point her mother couldn't find her. Her family had been in the park enjoying the warm weather but so were dozens of other people.

She was last seen at the park around 7 p.m.

Chase says it was an all-out effort with first responders and community volunteers. They searched the water and the wooded area around the park.

Troopers brought in a drone, chopper and dive team to search for her. 

Nearly five hours after the three-year-old went missing, divers located the body of the toddler around 11:45 p.m. Her body was found only about 30 feet away from the shore and five feet underwater.

"This area is very weedy and murky which hindered search efforts," Chase said. "Our hearts go out to the family of Zyvette. This is the tragic loss of a young life."

If you have any information about what happened in Casey Park, call state police at 585-398-4100 or 911.


Lynette Adams

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