Samoan Family in Brisbane Mourn the Loss of Seven-Year-Old Boy Found 15 Hours After he Went Missing

"It was challenging conditions on Saturday evening with severe thunderstorms sweeping through the region and “hard bush terrain” to navigate through."

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A Samoan family in Brisbane are mourning the loss of their seven-year-old boy whose body was found after a 15-hour search by police rescuers.

Zepvontay ‘Uni’ Tafili was last seen on Queens Road, in Kingston, Logan, about 5pm Saturday. He had lived with a medical condition and was non-verbal.

Officers were assisted by a police helicopter and local volunteers had been scouring the area.

Residents and police searched the area through challenging conditions on Saturday night. Picture: Google Maps.

It was challenging conditions on Saturday evening with severe thunderstorms sweeping through the region and “hard bush terrain” to navigate through.

Residents were urged to check their properties, including any structures or sheds, in case Uni had been hiding or seeking shelter.

Senior Sergeant Glenn Ryder said specialist divers found the body of the boy on Sunday morning, 15 hours after he went missing.

“My thanks to the community, and it’s such a tragic time of the year,” he said.

Sergeant Ryder said it was touching how the community had reached out.

“It was just a wonderful, wonderful assistance from the community.”

The boy’s aunt had shared a post on social media on Saturday asking for volunteers to join the search because the family “could really use the help”.

Photos of Uni posted by family as they reached out to seek the community’s help.

“Hey everyone, anyone who’s available to come search, please come help,” she had posted.

“We don’t have many eyes and could really use the help. Search starts at 8am on Hope street Slacks creek and work our way inwards to the bushland.

Police are providing support to the family, who have requested privacy during this difficult time.

The search for the young boy was made all the more urgent because of his age and the fact he was non-verbal autistic.

People who joined the search had been intensifying warned not to scream his name, as it might scare him off.

“Sadly, it’s a tragic event that I’m now reporting. Yesterday at approximately 5.30pm, police were advised of a missing seven-year-old autistic child,” Sergeant Ryder told the media.

“As a result of that information, police commenced the search for the individual involving multiple police assets, and also our agent partners, police and fire services and State Emergency Service.”

Officers, along with the assistance of a Polair helicopter, searched the area where he went missing with the help of local residents.