UPDATE: IT HAS SINCE BEEN RELEASED THAT THE VICTIM IS SIX YEAR OLD ALIYAH WILLIAMS.
Greece, NY— It was an emotional night for the Town of Greece Thursday; a five year old girl was found dead in the Erie Canal.
Police were called around 7:00 PM to Henpeck Park, for a report of a missing five year old girl Thursday July 19.
When police arrived, they were thinking possibilities that the girl fell into the canal, was abducted, or just wandered off.
After a brief search, it was determined she had fallen into the canal, and Greece Police Chief Patrick Phelan described what happened.
"It was believed that she may have fallen in the canal, although no one had seen her fall in the canal. She was last seen near the shore of the canal.” Phelan said.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Dive Team recovered her body.
Police are not releasing the girl's name at this time.
This summer has been a very tragic one for the Town of Greece, as back in June a fatal car crash on Latta Road took the life an about to graduate Hilton High School Senior Paige Smith. Now in July a five year old girl found dead in the Erie Canal. When asked about these incidents Phelan said emotionally:
"These are horrible tragedies. I wish they didn’t happen. I feel so badly for the families and you know they are just horrible tragedies". Phelan added "I don’t know what you can say that makes sense of a child drowning at the age of five. I don’t have an answer for you for that."
The girl's cause of death is still under investigation.
Greece Police were assisted at the scene by the Gates Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, New York State Police, Rochester Police Department, and local Fire and EMS agencies.
A State Police helicopter was seen circling the scene from above. Dive Teams from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and Rochester Police Department responded to the canal.
This event happened shortly after Senator Chuck Schumer called on the Center for Disease Control, or CDC, to make a strong initiative to raise awareness to drowning incidents in children age five and under. In a recent press release, Schumer to the CDC, three children drown every day in the U.S.
89.1 The Point will continue to follow this story and will update it as new information becomes available.