Exhaustive search for missing Elora teen ends Sunday morning
Provincial Police have confirmed that the body of Bryce Hogg, 15, was pulled from the Grand River early Sunday morning.
The discovery was made at around 8a.m. from the air. Friends and volunteers who had access to a Great Lakes helicopter spotted the body in the Grand River between Wellington Road 21 and Eight Line, close to the Weisenberg Road bridge.
Within the hour the Centre Wellington Fire Department launched its marine unit, identifying Hogg’s body within 100 metres from the bridge.
By 10 a.m. hundreds of family members and friends gathered there to say one last good bye. Victim Services was on hand to assist the family, who began meeting at the conservation park on Wednesday night, waiting for any kind of update.
Hogg was described by those who knew him as an active teen who enjoyed riding dirt bikes, ATV’s and snowmobiles. He was a student at Centre Wellington District High School. His father Ralph Hogg says his son will be missed.
“All his class mates who know him please think of him as that great little man that had a heart of gold that would help you out and would do anything for you. I am so proud of him.”
Ralph Hogg’s 5 minute address to the media began strongly with numerous thanks to the community and police.
“I want to thank all of these people, the community. I met a lot of people over these four days of heart ache and hardship. It’s brought me strength. It’s brought my family strength.”
With each thought of his son, though, tears began to fill Ralph Hogg’s eyes.
“He was an amazing boy… but he came home to us today, and that is what's important.”
It was Wednesday night at around 7pm when Bryce and two of his friends decided to go inner-tubing.
It’s reported that at one point all three teens capsized their inner tubes. While his friends made it to shore, Bryce did not. On Thursday, his uncle Mike Carlo told CTV News that Bryce was last seen floating down the river by his friends.
Officials with the Grand River Conservation Authority had suspended all inner-tubing at the Elora Conservation Park since Monday. Communications Director for the GRCA Dave Schultz says the water levels were too high and the river was moving too fast to safely allow any tubing at the park.
Police confirm that the three teens did not enter the water at the conservation area, but just outside near Salem.
Wellington County OPP detachment commander Scott Lawson says the discovery of Hogg’s body concludes a difficult week for police.
“It certainly does weigh heavy on us and despite the closure of finding Bryce, it wasn’t how we thought it would go.”
Funeral arrangements are currently under way for the 15 year-old boy.