A marine rescue boat from NSW searches the Murray for the missing five-year-old. Picture: Hamish Blair
A marine rescue boat from NSW searches the Murray for the missing five-year-old. Picture: Hamish Blair

Body of boy, 5, found after mother allegedly drowned him

UPDATE: EMERGENCY workers have broken down over the moment they found the body of a five-year-old boy in the NSW Murray River this morning after his mother allegedly drowned him.

The boy's mother, 27, was charged with attempted murder of her other son, aged nine, on Thursday. A court heard on Friday she "had to drown my babies". It is expected her charges will be upgraded to murder.

The youngest boy's body was found by police divers who scoured the rivers, near Moama in southern New South Wales, around 11.35 this morning. Marine Rescue NSW, Echuca Moama Search and Rescue, Victoria Police and the SES also assisted in the search.

Emergency workers this afternoon broke down while describing the discovery of the body of the little boy in the Murray River.

"He was so little, it was awful, the whole thing has been awful, and everyone here is devastated," one emergency services worker told the Riverine Herald.

"All of us have been hit so hard."

Earlier, NSW Police issued a statement confirming a child's body was located in the water this morning.

"The body is yet to be formally identified, but is believed to be that of the five-year-old," the statement read.

UPDATE: Police divers have found the body of a five-year-old boy missing in a river near Moama, according to reports.

Yesterday the mother of the boy was charged with one count of ­attempted murder after she allegedly tried to drown her two sons in the Murray River.

The woman's eldest boy, 9, survived after a dog intervened and attacked her.

A desperate search of the river for his missing five-year-old brother continued until the discovery late this morning.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old mother - whose name cannot be published for legal reasons - allegedly took the children from the home of their grandparents in Deniliquin, in southern NSW. They had been caring for the boys for the past 18 months.

EARLIER: A DRUG addict mother is facing an attempted murder charge after she allegedly tried to drown her two sons in the Murray River.

The woman's nine-year-old survived the ordeal after she became distracted and a dog attacked her.

She was last night extradited to NSW from Victoria as police continued to dredge the Murray River for the son she is alleged to have drowned.

The woman, 27, whose name cannot be published for legal reasons, allegedly took the children on Wednesday from their grandparents' home in Deniliquin in the state's south, where they had been cared for during the past 18 months.

Victoria Police divers join the search. Picture: Hamish Blair
Victoria Police divers join the search. Picture: Hamish Blair

Police allege that on Thursday afternoon the woman arrived at a friend's property in Moama, on the Victorian side of the river.

Shocking details of what followed were aired in Bendigo Magistrates Court yesterday, as NSW Police sought her extradition.

The court heard she took the children to the water's edge and demanded her eldest son get in the water.

Detective Sergeant Trent Swinton told the court the mother was attempting to drown her eldest when screaming from her younger son, standing on the riverbank, distracted her, allowing the older boy to escape.

As he ran up the bank, he was also "savagely mauled" by the dog.

The mother then allegedly turned her focus to her youngest. He was last seen in the river, drifting face down in water, the court heard.

Det-Sgt Swinton said the woman confessed and told police of her "intention to kill both children".

NSW Police last night extradited the mother to Deniliquin "on an arrest warrant for attempted murder". The woman is scheduled to appear in Deniliquin Local Court today.

Earlier yesterday, a senior Victorian police ­officer described the incident as "tragic" and said that it "will rock the community of Australia".

The search was suspended last night and resumed at 8am this morning. Picture: Hamish Blair
The search was suspended last night and resumed at 8am this morning. Picture: Hamish Blair

Up to 30 officers searched to no avail until dark last night in the hope the younger boy would be found alive.

Local community and emergency services are devastated by the tragedy.

The boys' grandmother was last night keeping a bedside vigil at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne where the surviving child was recovering.

A lawyer for the grandparents said they were "devastated" by the tragedy.

News Corp Australia

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