KITTY HAWK, NC (WBTV) - The body of a 4-year-old boy who was swept away from his mother while walking on a North Carolina beach last week has been found Monday, police said.
The incident happened just before 4 p.m. Tuesday along NC's Outer Banks "under the watchful eye of the attending parents," according to the Kitty Hawk Police Department.
Police said the boy "was swept from his mother into the ocean and carried away by the current."
On Monday, Kitty Hawk police posted on Facebook stating that deputies found the boy, identified as Wesley Belisle, on Carova Beach in Currituck County around 7:40 a.m. Monday morning. The boy's family is making arrangements for him to be taken back to New Hampshire, police said.
"We hope that the outpouring of compassion and offers of support, thoughts and prayers to the Belisle family from people all over the world can bring them some amount of solace in this time of tremendous grief," Chief Joel Johnson said.
On Wednesday, Johnson said the incident is every parent's nightmare. "As parents, this is our worst nightmare, even for those of us who love and have grown up by the ocean," he said in a Facebook post.
Officers were concerned that beachgoers would discover the boy's body. The Charlotte Observer reported that officers were unable to predict where the boy's body would show up due to wind, currents and other conditions.
TV station WMUR reported the boy and his family are from Manchester, New Hampshire, and were vacationing on the Outer Banks at the time of the incident. The boy's hat was found two miles north of where he disappeared, according to WMUR.
The police chief in Kitty Hawk said the 4-year-old was holding hands with his mother and walking in ankle-deep water when a big wave knocked them both down and pulled the boy out to sea, reported TV Station WHDH.
"If you happen upon something at the beach that requires a closer inspection by authorities please limit your communication to 911," Chief Joel C. Johnson said in one of two Facebook posts. "We ask for sensitivity and restraint at this time for the family's sake."