SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A body pulled from a river in California on Tuesday matches the description of a missing 5-year-old boy.
Rescue crews had been searching for Ziyon Butler since Monday evening when he went missing at a Sacramento beach.
After an exhaustive search through the night, a family member walking along a bridge found the child’s body floating in the American River.
“It’s too much,” said Ziyon’s uncle, Jaquille Loggins. “He’s high-spirited. He’s one of those kids that would just come up to you and hug you for no reason, even if you mad.”
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office confirmed the body was Ziyon’s later Tuesday.
Loggins said the family was out enjoying the Memorial Day holiday Monday when the 5-year-old disappeared from their picnic area around 6:30 p.m.
Officers were at the beach at the time trying to close it down because a large fight had started.
“The chaos broke out as we were trying to look for him,” Loggins recalled.
Ziyon’s aunt, who was not identified by name, said she tried to tell rangers and officers that they could not find him.
“When we told them our child was missing, they told us to wait. They told us they were busy,” she said. “They told us to make the call ourselves because they were handling a situation.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Sacramento County said that as soon as they learned the child was missing, “Rangers and Regional Parks staff worked immediately and throughout the night and morning with the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and the child’s family and friends to locate the child.”
Ziyon was reported missing around 6:30 p.m., but Sacramento County Regional Parks did not put out an alert about his disappearance until 11 p.m. on Twitter. A county spokesperson said the boy’s picture was shared with all officers and rangers on the scene because they were involved in the search and that the photo was sent out to the public as soon as they thought it was necessary.
The family has been left wondering how their little boy ended up in the water.
“He’s not going to walk away without someone knowing he’s leaving,” Loggins said. “It just doesn’t make sense at all.”