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Montreal police say boy who disappeared March 12 likely fell into river

Last Updated Mar 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm EST

Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, 10, is seen in this undated police handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout/Service de police de la Ville de Montreal

Montreal police say they believe a boy who has been missing for 10 days more than likely fell into a river.

Insp. Ian Lafreniere says 10-year-old Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou was last seen near the Riviere des Prairies and that there are no images of him elsewhere after that.

The boy’s father has repeatedly said he believes his son was abducted and that he would never have gone to the river.

Police divers searched the river on six different occasions this week but found no clues.

The investigation is continuing.

The boy left his home in the city’s north end on March 12 to visit a friend’s house.

“I can’t say with absolute certainty it was an accident but what I can say is that it is the No. 1 hypothesis,” Lafreniere said.

Besides the diving, police have gone door to door in the neighbourhood and used horses, the canine unit, all-terrain vehicles and a helicopter to search the area.

Police say they have received some 700 tips and that a command post is still in place at a shopping centre near where Ariel disappeared.

There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to the boy being found.

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