Waterloo Regional police have confirmed that the body found in the Nith River south of Haysville is that of missing boy Robbie Reiner.

The five-year-old boy went missing from his New Hamburg home on Boxing Day around 5 p.m.

Police say the boy walked out of his family home and it’s believed he fell through the ice on the Nith River and drowned.

“He just put on his boots and went out the front door and went for a little walk,” said Waterloo police Sgt. Dave Reibel. “They didn’t notice right away and by the time they did, he had made his way to the river.”

The boy’s father followed his tiny footprints in the snow. They led to the river.

Robbie’s boots were later found along the riverbank.

An extensive search was led by Waterloo Regional Police with support from Wilmot, Kitchener, and Cambridge Fire Departments, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police.

At the time, the river was searched by the OPP Dive Unit but they were unable to find the child. The recovery mission was called off after an extensive five-day search.

Crews returned to the river in April after reports of something suspicious in the water but searchers came up empty handed.

With files from Mary Cranston, 570News