20 Aug 2009

Schoolboy's body found in Hawke's Bay river

6:04 am on 20 August 2009

Police have found the body of a schoolboy who went missing Tuesday night in the Wairoa River.

Conan Waihi, aged 13, was last seen trying to retrieve his ball from the Hawke's Bay river.

Police divers, working in poor visibility conditions, found the body about 1.30pm on Wednesday after about 90 minutes of searching in an area under the bridge where he was last seen.

The boy got into trouble and disappeared about 15m from the river bank.

A friend has told police how he grabbed his mate's arm, but could not hold on to him.

Police in Hawke's Bay say heavy rain in the past 48 hours has flooded the river.

Meanwhile, Wairoa College where the boy had attended says it is shocked by the news. The school says support is being offered to students and teachers.

The boy's church says it is devastated at the death. The Gisborne Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says it will talk to the family about how it can honour Conan Waihi's life.