Parents of 5-year-old boy who fell in Maine river prepare to lay son to rest

Valerio McFarland (Helen Gagliano-McFarland)

AUBURN (WGME) -- The parents of a five-year-old boy, who disappeared in the Androscoggin River, are preparing to lay their son to rest.

The boy's body was found nearly three weeks after he fell into the water.

Game wardens say 5-year-old Valerio McFarland's body was found five miles downstream from where his family says he fell into the Androscoggin River by Bonney Park in Auburn.

They say a man was out kayaking and helping the family search for him when he spotted his body, bringing an end to the 20-day search to find him.

Game wardens say the kayaker found Valerio's body near the Durham boat launch around noon Monday.

Valerio’s family says in late April he fell into the water while playing with his 10-year-old brother.

His brother went in after him so did his father and sister. The two boys were swept downstream but the 10-year-old was rescued. He is recovering in the hospital.

Since then the family has been out searching for Valerio with the help of volunteers.

Some say while it's a sad ending to the story, they're glad the family has closure.

"We've seen people on kayaks and I'm just happy they found him and he can have a proper burial,” Samantha Call, Auburn resident, said.

Valerio’s mother says the family is grieving but they thanked everyone who searched for their son.

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