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Missing 4-year-old boy’s body found in San Diego bay

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  • Daniesha Hilaire collapses in the arms of a relative after the body of her 4-year-old son Wesley Hilaire was recovered from the waters of Mission Bay on Sunday in San Diego, as relatives and others form an impromptu prayer circle. (Lyndsay Winkley/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

SAN DIEGO » The body of a 4-year-old boy who vanished during his first beach outing was found in the waters in San Diego’s Mission Bay on Sunday, police said.

Divers recovered Wesley Hilaire’s body about 100 yards offshore, hours after police issued an Amber Alert for him amid fear that he had been abducted while at the beach.

Wesley’s aunt, Damieka White, told the San Diego Union-Tribune she took her nephew to the beach for the first time Saturday when a friend who has children suggested they all go to the bay. White said the group was getting ready to leave about 6:50 p.m. when they noticed him missing.

Wesley’s disappearance set off a frantic, night-long search for him on land and in the water. Police investigated his disappearance as a possible kidnapping after someone reported seeing suspicious activity between a man and a child near a restroom in the area.

Police believe the drowning was accidental and don’t suspect the witness’ report was related to the case, Sgt. Cory Mapston said.

Medical examiners will determine the boy’s cause of death.

Wesley’s mother spent the night passing out fliers for searchers. When she learned of his death, she collapsed and was taken away on a gurney, the newspaper reported.

Wesley’s father is deployed with the U.S. Navy on the USS George Washington. His mother works part time at a Navy base. The couple also has 6-year-old twin boys.

During the search, divers also found the body of an adult drowning victim.

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