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AUSTIN, Man.—RCMP say an autopsy has confirmed that a Manitoba boy whose body was found in a creek Saturday drowned.

Chase Martens walked away from his family home near Austin last Tuesday—prompting an extensive search involving hundreds of people.

An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death, police said today.

The two-year-old’s parents and other family members took part in a vigil Sunday evening on the shore of the creek where the body was found.

His grieving family said they have been overwhelmed by the support people have shown.

“The family of Chase Martens is completely devastated as they come to grips with the tragic loss of their little boy,” read a statement issued by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection on behalf of the boy’s family.

The release said the family wants to express their heartfelt gratitude to RCMP, the provincial fire commissioner, and community volunteers who took part in the search.

At the Austin Evangelical Fellowship church yesterday, deacon Henry Peters spoke about the events to the congregation before delivering the Easter message.

“When we gathered here Friday morning for those of you that were here, we prayed that the Lord would help the searchers, that He would bring some answers to the family,” Peters said.

“And yesterday [Saturday] that answer came.

“Probably not the one that the family would have wanted to come, but at least they know where their child is.”

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