Police say a two-year-old who went missing in Prospect Park on Saturday afternoon is dead. NY1's Polly Kreisman filed the following report.
A distraught mother was seen being carried by stretcher, signaling the tragic end to a nearly five hour search.
I'm devastated. I mean, this is a child that we were looking for earlier. Before the chaos with the police, the lines and everything, we were looking for this baby. Our whole church family was looking for this baby. My whole church family was looking for this baby and we were praying out here," said Shivonne Dillard of Bringing Back Pentecostal Outreach Ministry.
Instead, the body of two-year-old Ruhshona Kurbonova was pulled from the Prospect Park lake by NYPD divers about 6 p.m. Saturday.
It all began shortly after 1 p.m. when police say they responded to a report of a missing child, and for hours this area of the park was cordoned off while scores of police from Brooklyn South and the 78th precinct combed the water and wooded areas.
Police say Ruhshona and her three-year-old cousin had wandered off from a family barbecue.
The boy was found dripping wet by another family and returned to his mother. That's when the mother of the little girl panicked.
The church group began to help police in the search and flyers were quickly spread through the area. But by then, it was too late.
"We heard her screaming and crying," said April Bailey.
Later, the 37-year-old mother was seen leaving Coney Island Hospital with her family.
"It saddens my heart to see a little child—she didn't even see anything. She didn't live to experience anything, to understand wrong from right, to know that—this is a lake, don't go in," Bailey said.
Because the lake in Prospect Park is almost completely covered with green algae, police say the recover effort was especially difficult.
Police continue to investigate in Prospect Park.