Desperate Search for Missing Zimbabwean Toddler Continues into Fourth Week

March 13, 2024
xielomaruzivajpg | Report Focus News
arents desperate to find Xielo Maruziva, 2, as rain hampers fifth day of search

The community of Leicester remains gripped by the heart-wrenching saga of two-year-old Xielo Maruziva, who tragically fell into the River Soar on the evening of February 18th. Despite a massive search effort, the young boy has yet to be found, entering an agonising fourth week of operations.

The incident occurred around 5 pm in the serene environs of Aylestone Meadows, just on the outskirts of Leicester, while Xielo was with his family. In a desperate attempt to save his son, Xielo’s father plunged into the frigid waters following the boy’s fall, only to be later hospitalised as a precaution. He has since been released.

Over 200 police officers, alongside specialist divers, search and rescue teams from across the nation, and marine recovery dogs, have been tirelessly combing the area. They’ve been joined by experts from Specialist Group International (SGI), a private firm known for their involvement in other high-profile searches, including that of Nicola Bulley last week.

Assistant Chief Constable Michaela Kerr of Leicestershire Police expressed the collective heartache of the operation, saying, “To be entering our fourth week of searching for Xielo without being able to locate him and return him to his family despite all the team’s efforts is heartbreaking.”

Kerr acknowledged the unwavering resolve of those involved in the search, stating, “I know that the determination to find him is felt by all who have been involved in the search over the past three weeks, in all conditions, and we are all desperately trying to find answers for little Xielo’s family.”

In a poignant testament to his character, Xielo’s parents described him as a “cheeky, funny” boy, a “bundle of joy” whose absence has left a void in their hearts. “Me, his dad and the whole family are so heartbroken at what has happened,” his mother shared, echoing the sentiment of all who yearn for his safe return.

ACC Kerr also extended her gratitude towards the family for their courage and cooperation throughout these trying weeks. “Our search for Xielo is continuing with specialist teams at the scene and our tactics and strategies continue to be reviewed as we move forward,” she affirmed.

The community’s response has been one of profound solidarity and support, a beacon of hope in the face of tragedy. Kerr commended everyone involved in the search for their professionalism, dedication, and commitment, as well as the local and wider public for their ongoing support during this desperately sad time.

As the search for Xielo Maruziva continues, the city of Leicester holds its breath, united in hope for the safe return of their “cheeky, funny” little boy.