On Sunday, long after the picnics had ended, Casey Park in Ontario had closed and darkness had set in. A search and rescue operation was in full swing for three-year-old Zyvette Marquez-Rivera.
She was reported missing around 7 p.m., and was located by an underwater search team around 11:45 p.m.
On Monday, however, state police had a new mission.
“Now, the focus will be on how this incident occurred…we’ve interviewed several people who were at the park last night and we will continue to investigate this matter,” said New York State Police Capt. Barry Chase. “As you can imagine with a child, we get as many resources as we can…yes we had state police helicopter with thermo-imaging, the fire departments were here also and they actually have thermo-imaging also so they were in the woods.”
On Sunday, the young girl had been out at the park with family, playing with other kids when at some point her mother couldn’t find her. Her family had been in the park enjoying the warm weather but so were dozens of other people.
Vigil held in memory
The grieving family of a little girl found dead in a Wayne County pond received an outpour of support from the community Monday night when relatives were joined by the community in a vigil near the scene of her death.
“We just want them to see that there is an entire community that is standing behind them and we’re all feeling this pain together,” declared Jacqueline Caraballo with the Remnant of Faith Church as a large group formed a prayer circle and sang the hymn “Levanto Mis Manos” (I Lift my hands).”
Three-year-old Zyvette Marquez-Rivera disappeared Sunday evening as her family picnicked in Casey Park in the Town of Ontario. After an intense search by state troopers, Wayne County deputies, local firefighters, and dive teams, her body was discovered late Sunday night in the murky water of the park’s pond.
Monday’s vigil, which brought together dozens of people, was marked by tears, audible sobbing, hushed conversations and long periods of silence as the child’s family remembered her.