SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Rescue crews pulled a body from the American River Tuesday morning that matched the description of a missing boy.
Crews had been out searching for 5-year-old Ziyon Butler since Monday evening when he went missing at Tiscornia Beach.
After an exhaustive search through the night, it was a family member who found the child’s body. They were walking along a bridge and saw it floating in the water.
“It’s too much,” said Butler’s uncle, Jaquille Loggins. “He’s high-spirited. He’s one of those kids that would just come up to you and hug you for no reason, even if you mad.”
The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office confirmed the body was Butler later Tuesday.
Loggins said the family was out enjoying the Memorial Day holiday Monday when the 5-year-old disappeared from their picnic area around 6:30 p.m.
At the same time, officers were already at the beach trying to close it down because a large fight had started.
“The chaos broke out as we were trying to look for him,” Loggins recalled.
Butler’s aunt said she tried to tell rangers and officers that they could not find him.
“When we told them our child was missing they told us to wait. They told us they were busy,” she said. “They told us to make the call ourselves because they were handling a situation.”
FOX40 reached out to police and park rangers to ask about the claims but they denied requests for on-camera interviews.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Sacramento County said as soon as they learned the child was missing, “Rangers and Regional Parks staff worked immediately and throughout the night and morning with the Sacramento Police Department, Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and the child’s family and friends to locate the child.”
Butler was reported missing around 6:30 p.m. but Sacramento County Regional Parks did not put out an alert about his disappearance until 11 p.m. on Twitter. When asked why a spokesperson for the county said the picture was shared with all officers and rangers on scene because they were involved in the search. The spokesperson said they sent out the photo to the public as soon as they thought it was necessary.
The grieving family has been left wondering how their little boy ended up in the water.
“He’s not going to walk away without someone knowing he’s leaving,” Loggins said. “It just doesn’t make sense at all.”