WORCESTER — Divers recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy from Bell Pond early Saturday morning, according to District Fire Chief Kevin Maloney. The boy, who disappeared while swimming with friends Friday, was found about 50 feet offshore in 8 to 10 feet of water.
While police have not released the boy’s name, his father, Jean-Claude Nsengiyumve, said the victim was his son Ndayishimiye.
Nsengiyumve spent the night at the pond after learning Friday that his son had possibly drowned.
His wife was grieving at the family’s apartment Saturday morning, too upset to talk.
Police and fire crews went to the pond at 5:42 p.m. Friday after three boys reported Ndayishimiye had gone into the water and not resurfaced.
Nsengiyumve, speaking through a Swahili interpreter, said Ndayishimiye is the third of five children.
Nsengiyumve had gone to pick up one of the the couple’s younger children when an older boy came to the family’s home and asked if Ndayishimiye and his older brother wanted to go to Bell Pond. A friend, also older than Ndayishimiye, accompanied them.
Once there, the oldest friend stayed on the shore while the younger three went in, Nsengiyumve said.
The younger three could not swim, and it is unknown whether the oldest boy could, Nsengiyumve, friends and relatives at the scene said Saturday morning.
Ndayishimiye went out farther than the other boys, and started calling for help. Then he went under and did not come up again, his father said.
The other boys shouted for help, and a woman in the area went into the water but could not find him, according to police.
Rescuers searched Friday until about 8 p.m., when they suspended the search because of darkness and safety concerns.
Search crews returned Saturday at 7:45 a.m. Divers found the body about 50 feet offshore in 8 to 10 feet of water, according to District Fire Chief Kevin Maloney.
Ndayishimiye was in third grade at Belmont Street Community School. The family, who are from Burundi, has lived in Worcester for five years, Nsengiyumve said.
“It’s just sad the way he died,” Nsengiyumve said through Fatima Mohamed, a volunteer who leads East African Community Outreach.