SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (CBS) — A missing 5-year-old girl who reportedly fell into the Connecticut River is presumed dead, according to a prepared statement from Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan’s office.

Saturday night at about 9:15 p.m., state police received a 911 call regarding a 5-year-old girl who had fallen into the river on Cove Island Road in South Hadley.

A preliminary investigation determined the girl was the youngest member of a California family that had arrived in town for an extended family gathering. The family had gathered at a Cove Island Road residence to watch a local fireworks display.

An eyewitness reported seeing the girl walking on a dock then falling through a space between the end of the dock and a moored boat. Several adults dove into the river immediately in an attempt to retrieve her, but the girl could not be found.

The State Police Dive Team reported that due to recent rains, the Connecticut River’s current is stronger and faster than normal.

State and local dive teams, as well as the Massachusetts Air Wing, launched a rescue and recovery effort, which extended through the evening and well into Sunday. As of late Sunday night, the girl had not been located, and she is presumed dead, according to the DA’s office.

No foul play is suspected and the incident is being characterized as an accident.


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