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Mannequin to be launched in brook to help find missing Nova Scotia 3-year-old

A day after calling off the search for missing Nova Scotia three-year-old Dylan Ehler, the Truro Police Service is launching a mannequin equipped with radio frequency equipment into a brook, in hopes it will provide clues to the child’s whereabouts. 

The mannequin is approximately the same height and weight as Dylan and will be put into Lepper Brook Wednesday afternoon. One of Dylan’s boots was found in the brook, and another was found further down the brook at the mouth of the Salmon River.  

The mannequin will be tracked by helicopter and through its radio transmitter, as it heads down the brook.

“It is hoped that this technique will produce new information and assist in locating any new potential searching areas,” said a release from the Town of Truro. 

Dylan has been missing since Wednesday May 6. He was playing outside of his grandmother’s home on Queen Street before his disappearance.

It appears the grandmother turned away from Dylan to handle her dog, and when she turned back the boy was gone, police said last week. 

The search turned into a recovery operation last Thursday after no new clues were found.

Search and rescue crews comb the Salmon River in Truro on May 7. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Over the weekend, crews combed through a riverbed, helicopters flew overhead and police canvassed the area again. Then on Tuesday the search was called off. 

The exploratory trial with the mannequin will be carried out by Truro police, Nova Scotia’s provincial dive team and Colchester Ground Search and Rescue. 

Reporting stations will be setup along the Salmon River to monitor the radio signal from the mannequin. The dive team will be in Salmon River to help out during the test. The river flows into Cobequid Bay, which is part of the Minas Basin.

Ocean tides Wednesday were similar to what they were on May 6, which is part of the reason the trial is going ahead now. 

The town is also removing the stop logs from the reservoir on Lepper Brook Wednesday afternoon to simulate the brook conditions on May 6. 

Residents are asked not to call 911 if they see anything suspicious in the river during this operation, said the town.


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