Foul play not suspected in Bradford teen's death, police say
BARRIE, ONT. -- South Simcoe Police Chief Andrew Fletcher confirmed Monday afternoon that the body found in a Bradford pond was, in fact, 15-year-old Siem Zerezghi.
The chief said it's believed Siem died from drowning, "and we do not believe that any foul play is suspected in any way," Fletcher said.
Fletcher added that while they haven't determined why the Bradford District High School student was at the pond, it was a familiar area for him. "It was a regular route from his house to his aunt's home," he said.
Siem's family reported him missing on Oct. 24, prompting a massive ground and air search of the area.
Bradford resident Judith Brown volunteered to help after watching Siem's family give an emotional plea for his return on Thursday.
"I'm a mom. I have two boys. I saw his sister and his dad, and it brought me to tears. Like, I haven't cried for a long time, but when I saw them pleading, begging for him to come home, it just broke my heart," she said.
Eight days after his disappearance, police divers recovered the teen's body from a pond in the area of Professor Day Drive and the 8th Line.
"This is not the outcome that anyone was hoping for, especially his family," said South Simcoe Police Sgt. Dave Phillips on Friday evening. "They are just overwhelmed by the community's support."
The day after his body was found, a memorial of flowers formed at the site as community members paid their respects.
Telegh Kentros didn't know Siem but is taking his death hard.
"We were waiting for some really good news. We wanted him back," he said through tears.
The community held a vigil on Sunday at the Bradford Library.
Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Siem's death, as many questions remain unanswered. They urge the community to share any video or images through an online portal to determine what happened in the final moments of Siem's life.