Police end search for missing toddler

  • 16/06/2016
West Coast
West Coast

The search for a two-year-old girl who went missing after the ute she was travelling in became submerged in a river on the West Coast has come to an end.

Emily Saunders has been missing since last Thursday, and after a week blighted with poor weather conditions, police say they must now call off the search.

And despite the use of helicopters, the Police National Dive Squad, victim recovery dogs and search and rescue volunteers, the girl's whereabouts remain unknown.

Area Commander West Coast Inspector Mel Aitken says the local community has put in a big effort, but sadly to no avail.

"I want to thank the many volunteers, including Search and Rescue and the wider West Coast Community who have shown their generosity and support to the family through this terrible tragedy," she said.

Emily's family has since released a statement acknowledging those involved in the search for their efforts.

"We would also like to express our gratitude to our community, the numerous groups and organisations that have helped our family in many ways during this time," it read.

"We would like to especially thank Victim Support who worked with the Lions and other groups who have made it possible for family to come, so we can be together during this difficult time."

Police say they will continue to offer Emily's family support.

Emily's parents Sandra and Michael Saunders were also in the 4WD but made it out of the vehicle, while 66-year-old Barry Petrie and Emily were swept away.

Mr Petrie's body was recovered last Friday.