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Investigation underway outside Ontario daycare after missing child found dead

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A child was found dead after going missing from an Ontario town on Thursday night.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a call regarding a missing child from an address in Hamilton Township, north of Cobourg, on Thursday just before 5:20 p.m.

An OPP cruiser and police tape were seen outside of Watch Me Grow Daycare on County Road 45 in Baltimore, Ont., on Friday.

Police tape seen outside of a daycare north of Cobourg, Ont., on Thursday, May 26, 2023 (CTV News Toronto/ Corey Baird).

Greg Gotthelf, a local resident, said a woman from the daycare ran across the road asking for help in the search for a two or three-year-old child on Thursday.

“We started looking, checking our backyards, everybody. Police started showing up more, all in all a bad situation,” he said.

Then, Gotthelf said he witnessed the child’s mother in “sheer pain” as she arrived at the scene.

The child was found dead at the address they were reported missing from, OPP say. The child's cause of death is currently unknown

Police tape seen outside of a daycare north of Cobourg, Ont., on Thursday, May 26, 2023 (CTV News Toronto/ Corey Baird).

Emergency crews were seen searching a wooded area on the side of a busy country road just a few minutes north of Highway 401 in footage taken on Thursday and obtained by CTV News Toronto.

A death investigation is now underway at the address where the child was found.

Another neighbour, Pam Fessler, said the child’s sudden death has left the community in shock.

A missing child was found dead in an Ontario town east of Toronto on Thursday, May 25, 2023.

“Horrible, just horrible,” she said. “I have a two-and-a-half-year-old little niece and I couldn't imagine anything happening to her.”

The OPP’s Criminal Investigation Branch is investigating in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario.

“We were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of a child and off our heartfelt condolences to their family and loved ones,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education told CTV News Toronto, adding staff are working with police and the child care centre.

The ministry said Watch Me Grow is a licensed chid care centre with no history of serious incidents.

Police say there is no threat to public safety.

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