Tributes flow for ’beautiful’ Elle taken too soon
A QUIET, solemn scene is all that remains after a major search operation to find missing three-year-old Elenore Lindsay as tributes flow for the beloved toddler.
After a desperate search operation on Monday, the toddler's body was found in a dam about 150m away from her Cootharaba house in the early hours of this morning.
The Sunshine Coast has woken to a tragic update after hundreds of residents joined the search to find her.
The grandfather of Elenore, known as Elle, Errol Lindsay told the Daily he feared she had been "taken by a deviant" after he scoured the property last night.
"I heard my daughter yelling for her," Mr Lindsay said.
"I got up … and I just started going everywhere I could as fast as I could.
Mr Lindsay said he searched the edge of his dam and couldn't find any trace of his granddaughter.
"I couldn't find foot marks anywhere," he said.
"I don't know where she is."
Neighbour Brett Freestone said it was heartwarming to see so many people join the search for Elle, despite the tragic outcome.
"The place was full of people. Thousands of people," he said.
"Torches everywhere … it was pretty amazing. Everyone was helping each other."
Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said he could hear screaming through the night after the family was notified that Elle's body had been found.
"Obviously the family was told that they found the child deceased and drowned," he said.
"And then I heard screaming in the night. Scream, scream, scream."
Elle's aunt, Penny Lindsay, said Elle had been in her room playing before she went missing about 1.30pm.
"Her mother went down to get the house phone and then she was gone," she said.
"We searched for an hour and half before we called police. That was between 1.30-2pm."
Police commenced an immediate search of the home and property canvassed neighbouring areas as hundreds of volunteers joined the search.
Relative Tina Day said she was very appreciative of all the support from residents who joined the search party.
"The amount of people who have been helping us out looking has blown us away," she said
Fighting back tears, Ms Day said it was "very out of character" for Elle to wander away.
"She's a kid and she explores but this is not normal so it's very very stressful," she said.
Elle's body was found in the dam just after midnight this morning.
Police are investigating Elle's death and will prepare a report for the Coroner.
Tributes are flowing for the beloved toddler after the tragic news of her death spread this morning.
"Sending all my love and prayers to the all family and friends, all emergency services personnel and all the SES workers and volunteers that were involved in the search. Although it was a sad result, know we all appreciate the hell out of everyone involved," Brooke Alderton said.
"Utterly devastating for her poor family. Our thoughts are with them this morning," Synda N Mike said.
"I'm so deeply saddened by this and I am sure the community are behind you all while you travel an extremely difficult road through your grieving process. A beautiful bubba taken too soon. My heart is absolutely breaking for you," Jen Walsh said.