Kayaker discovers body of missing 5-year-old boy
AUBURN (WGME) -- A kayaker discovered the body of a boy missing for almost three weeks in the Androscoggin River.
Christopher Lane says it was along a bend of the Androscoggin River where he found Valerio McFarland's body, only about a half mile from where he launched his boat.
"I didn't believe that I was seeing what I was seeing," Lane said
Christopher Lane was by himself Monday, launching his kayak in Durham, in a continued effort to find 5-year-old Valerio McFarland
"I just had an idea of where I might search, I'm not an expert at it, I don't feel like it was me, that found him," Lane said.
Going up and down the banks, searching through downed trees and debris, he spotted something.
"I noticed his shirt, then the rest, and he really, he looked like a child who was looking under water," Lane said.
It was only five miles downriver from where Valerio McFarland was first swept away in Auburn on April 24.
For weeks, volunteers and even his parents searched the river’s edge, not giving up hope.
"You always hope for a fairytale ending, that somehow something else happened,” Lane said. “And that realization, I really haven't really wrapped my mind around it just yet to be completely honest."
A registered Maine guide and kayak instructor, Lane felt it was his duty to help search.
"Part of guiding is we do try to take care of people and keep them safe, and you're trained in that aspect,” Lane said. “Certainly not trained for anything like this, but you get into that mindset of when someone's in need you're there to help."
Lane says he was just a small part of a bigger effort to bring Valerio McFarland home, and hope's his family and the community can now find strength and closure.
Although Lane and the McFarlands haven’t spoken to each other just yet, the McFarland family says they just want to thank everyone who put in the effort to help bring their son home.