Nicola Bulley 'experts' begin search for missing boy Xielo Maruziva, 2, in River Soar

27 February 2024, 13:59 | Updated: 27 February 2024, 14:08

Nicola Bulley 'experts' have joined the search for the toddler
Nicola Bulley 'experts' have joined the search for the toddler. Picture: Leicestershire Police/Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Nicola Bulley 'experts' have begun their desperate search of the River Soar for missing two-year-old Xielo Maruziva.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Xielo Maruziva went missing after he fell into the River Soar in Aylestone, Leicestershire on February 18 while he was out with family.

He was swept under the surface before his dad was able to jump in after him and he has not been seen since.

More than a week on, police have now recruited Peter Faulding, who helped in the search for Nicola Bulley after she went missing last year, to assist in the search for the toddler.

Mr Faulding, 61, said he had previously offered to help Leicestershire Police with the search for Xielo but had been “ignored”.

Experts from Specialist Group International (SGI) finally joined the search this week after "further conversations with search specialists and Xielo's family".

Read more: Cops recruit Nicola Bulley 'expert' diver to assist in search for boy Xielo Maruziva, 2, who fell into River Soar

Read more: 'He just disappears into the water': Police searching River Soar in Leicester for missing two-year-old find CCTV

Xielo Maruziva fell into the River Soar
Xielo Maruziva fell into the River Soar . Picture: Leicestershire Police

Assistant Chief Constable Michaela Kerr said on Monday: "We continue to be grateful to the support we've been shown by the public and colleagues from other forces and agencies.

"We're in regular contact with Xielo's family and are continuing to support them in what remains a very upsetting time.

"Our search operation to locate Xielo continues to widen as we know he may have travelled further from where he went into the water – and potentially outside our force area.

"I would like to reassure you that our operation is continuing and our teams will be carrying out co-ordinated searches at various points along the river.

"Our decision to involve SGI in the search in liaison with Xielo's family and having spoken to both the company and independent specialists.

"I'd also like to remind the public that the river is dangerous and that they should not go into the water themselves. Thank you."

Faulding's team has begun a search of the river
Faulding's team has begun a search of the river. Picture: Alamy

Mr Faulding, who has been the head of SGI since 1995, told the family that he would help in the search for free.

"The family pleaded with me to help them search," he said on Sunday.

"I said I'd do it free of charge - my team is ready to roll straight away.

"We've got the best equipment in the world, and I've got an untarnished reputation for finding 10 drowning victims per year.

"We're not some amateur team. But we've been ignored by the police.

"We've put constant requests in to help find Xielo since Wednesday - but we've heard nothing back. Or, they've said they've got enough resources.

"This isn't about police hatred - it's about finding a two-year-old boy, the same age as my own grandson."

Police search teams (right) and Specialist Group International (SGI) have joined the search operation for two-year-old Xielo Maruziva
Police search teams (right) and Specialist Group International (SGI) have joined the search operation for two-year-old Xielo Maruziva. Picture: Alamy

Mr Faulding led the search for Ms Bulley when she went missing while walking her dog last year.

He claimed to have found her within six minutes, 12 days before officers discovered her body.

He was later accused in a report of causing unwarranted distress to Ms Bulley's family after he told them he believed he had identified the location of her body.

In a statement, Mr Faulding said in response: "I take confidentiality very seriously and would never breach an NDA or disclose any confidential or protectively marked material.

"The only instructions I was given was to use discretion and keep operational information confidential.

"I was never given any operational information and never disclosed any (ie: location of a significant target). If at any time I was asked to stop updating the media, I would have immediately, but no request was ever made."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad commitment’ to Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack

Iranian attack drones are 'en route to Israel', according to an Israeli Defence Force spokesperson.

Iran launches massive drone and missile attack on Israel as war in Middle East escalates

A mother who was stabbed while trying to defend her baby from the Sydney shopping centre knifeman has been pictured for the first time.

Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Exclusive
Nearly 18,000 police officers were hired virtually by forces, prompting fears of another Wayne Couzens, LBC can reveal.

Nearly 18,000 police officers hired without face-to-face interviews by forces prompting fears of new Wayne Couzens

Lee Anderson's wife has been suspended by the Conservative party after being allegedly spotted campaigning for her husband's party Reform UK.

Lee Anderson's Tory councillor wife suspended from party after appearing to campaign for Reform in Ashfield

Election 2024 Decision Notes Alaska Wyoming

Biden wins Wyoming’s caucuses as eyes turn to Alaskan democrats