The body of a 13-year-old boy who went missing after jumping into the Waikato River on Friday has been found.

Members of the public this afternoon found the body of Zharian Watkins in the river at the north end of Huntly, Inspector Paul Carpenter said.

He went missing on Friday afternoon when he jumped off a rail bridge in Huntly and landed on his friend, who had jumped just before him.

The friend was injured but Zharian failed to resurface.


A search was carried out over the weekend but was postponed today and was set to resume on Wednesday.

But a number of people continued to search today and found his body at the north end of Huntly, opposite the power station, about 3pm, Mr Carpenter said.

"The official search had been suspended until Wednesday but true to the community spirit shown over the weekend when dozens of people helped search the river and its banks, a number of people had kept up the search and found him, due in a large part we believe, to the low river levels.''

The priority now was to complete the formal processes necessary to enable Zharian to be returned to his family.

Zharian's death has been reported to the coroner.