KINGSLAND, Ga. – After an intense search by deputies by the Camden County Sheriff's Office and a half dozen other agencies, the body of an 20-month-old boy was located Sunday morning in the St. Marys River behind his maternal grandparents' home.
John Riley Loper was reported missing about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Crews searched on water and land, using helicopters, boats, divers and bloodhounds to help look for the child throughout the night.
Officials from the Sheriff's Office told Channel 4's Jim Piggott that a team from Texas EquuSearch that was in Jacksonville when they heard about the search and came to help.
A flood of volunteers joined the search Sunday morning. The body was found in the water under a dock along Clarks Bluff Road.
"I don't know how I'm going to cope," said the boy's grandmother, Kathy Hill. "That is my baby. That is 50 percent of my life."
William Terrell, spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, called it a tragic accident and thanked the community for its support during the intense search.
"We appreciate the outpouring, the prayers and the thoughts, and all the agencies that came out," Terrell said.
A Facebook page is asking for people to light a candle or leave their porch light on as a memorial to the boy.