Body of missing Massachusetts boy, 6, found in Merrimack River

Mas DeChhat discovered floating in waters between Amesbury and Newburyport

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The 6-year-old boy who vanished last week while fishing with his family along the edge of the Merrimack River in Massachusetts has been found dead by a kayaker, authorities say. 

The body of the child – whose mother drowned while trying to save him – was discovered Sunday afternoon in the waters between Amesbury and Newburyport

"With deep sadness, we report that the body of 6-year-old drowning victim Mas DeChhat was recovered from the Merrimack River today," Massachusetts State Police said. "Our prayers are with him, his mother Boua DeChhat who died trying to save him, and the loved ones they left behind." 

The kayaker who found the child, identified by Fox 25 Boston as Darin Kelsey, said he ventured into the waters Sunday in hopes of helping first responders. 

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Massachusetts State Police say their Dive Team and Marine Unit searched the Merrimack River on Friday with Newburyport's Police and Fire Departments.

Massachusetts State Police say their Dive Team and Marine Unit searched the Merrimack River on Friday with Newburyport's Police and Fire Departments. (Massachusetts State Police)

"I saw him floating, and I have a young boy and a young girl, and just the image of that will always stay with me," Kelsey told the station. 

Massachusetts State Police say the child "had been missing since he entered the water during his family's recreational visit to Deer Island on Thursday." 

A helicopter also was participating in the search Friday, according to this image released by Massachusetts State Police.

A helicopter also was participating in the search Friday, according to this image released by Massachusetts State Police. (Massachusetts State Police)

His body will now be turned over to the state’s medical examiner. 

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The U.S. Coast Guard and numerous other fire departments, police departments and agencies helped search for the child after he vanished. 

The search effort Friday focused on the area near Deer Island.

The search effort Friday focused on the area near Deer Island. (Google Maps)

"The joint search teams and first responders together send their deepest sympathies and condolences to the DeChhat family," Massachusetts State Police said.