Body of Missing Toddler Found in River


TIDIOUTE, Pa. – The body of a two-year-old girl who was declared missing Saturday was found in the Allegheny River Sunday, Aug. 22.

Warren County Coroner Melissa Zydonik confirmed the girl was found in the river. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 23, to determine the cause of death, Zydonik said.

PSP-Warren said in a press release Aug. 23 that the child had been found in a debris pile approximately one mile south (downriver) of where she was suspected of falling in.

PSP added there were no obvious injuries and the preliminary cause of death was ruled to be an accidental drowning.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Pennsylvania State Police were notified at approximately 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, that the girl was missing in the vicinity of Valley View Lane in Limestone Township.

“Upon arrival, it was determined the child left her residence and walked to an area close to the Alleghany River near the above location,” a PSP release stated. “It is suspected the child fell into the river. A tracking canine was utilized to follow the child’s scent from her bedroom to an area on the river where it is highly suspected she fell into the high moving water.”

Multiple agencies were called in to assist with the search, including PSP Warren Troopers, PSP helicopter, McKean County Tracking Canine, PA Fish and Boat Commission, Tionesta, Hickory and Tidioute VFDs, and the McKean County Special Operations Group Dive Team. The dive team utilized a submarine to scan the water and bank side of the River. Several civilian volunteers also assisted in the search.

The search was called off late Saturday night but resumed Sunday morning. According to Allegheny Outfitters, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduced outflow at the Kinzua Dam to help searchers Sunday morning.