GRAND FORKS, B.C. – The body of a missing 12-year-old Grand Forks, B.C. boy was apparently found in the townhouse subdivision where he lived, says the mayor after police launched a homicide investigation.
Brian Taylor said Tuesday that volunteers, including included many from the surrounding area, mounted a massive search for John Fulton after he vanished Saturday but came up with nothing.
He said Fulton, who is autistic, lived in the Gables, a complex of subsidized townhouses near the local recreation centre in the southern B.C. town on the U.S. border.
“There was a search that went out from the Gables and all the other residential areas around, door to door,” Taylor said.
“They were also searching the outer areas of the city. But it appears that John was right there in the Gables.”
Fulton’s body was found Monday night, two days after he went missing.
Mounties said it’s too early to discuss how the child died or exactly where his body was located.
Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said officers focused on securing the scene after the body was found at about 8 p.m. Monday and that major crimes investigators now will take over the case.
Police described Fulton as a happy, high-functioning autistic boy who disappeared from the steps of his home late Saturday afternoon.
Taylor said the discovery of the boy’s body has shaken area residents.
“Everybody here is in shock,” he said.
“We pride ourselves on being a safe community. Children here walk to school and parents have a sense of comfort, and I think we’re going to lose that.”
Moskaluk would not comment on whether police have a suspect in the boy’s death.
“I think the police are trying to reassure people that we don’t have a killer wandering around in our midst,” said Taylor.
Grief counsellors were being brought in to assist Fulton’s family and friends.
Grand Forks is about 600 kilometres east of Vancouver, just north of the Washington State border, and is home to about 4,000 residents.