LOWELL, Mass. — The Lowell community gathered for prayer and peace at St. Michael’s Church after the search for 7-year-old Anna Mburu came to a devastating end Monday.
“As a father of two how can you describe it, you really can’t. Our heart will continue to go out to the family,” says Tom Golden, Lowell City Manager.
“It is very sad, very frustrating. We were hoping that she would be found alive,” says Lucy Waweru, a Lowell community member.
Mburu is the latest child with special needs to wander off only for her body to be found in the Merrimack River.
In May, a similar thing happened to 4-year-old Mohamed Fofana. His body was found on the shore of Spectacle Island. Yahaira Lopez -founder and director of a non-profit organization called Autism Sprinter says more needs to be done to keep kids with special needs safe.
“Do we now after hours have to gate ponds, lakes, beaches? I also feel like we should make the tracking devices that go in water that we can put them on our children whether it is their bracelet, a necklace or something,” says Lopez.
Lowell Police have what’s called a “Safe Watch Program.” It encourages people with special needs children to fill out a form online as part of the department’s effort to be proactive in gathering information that could help find a missing child with special needs.
“It is the same kind of thing that is used for the Silver Alerts you know people have some kind of like a health alert bracelet that you can activate or find people,” says Marian Ryan, Middlesex District Attorney.
Sadly, not the case for little Anna – leaving Lowell with heavy hearts Monday night.
“As a parent, it is very sad, and I am praying and hoping that it does not happen again,” says Waweru.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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