Police have launched a homicide inquiry after the body of a 2-year-old child was found in a Bay of Plenty river.

About 6pm last night Whakatāne police were called to the Matahina Dam area, following the report of a 2-year-old missing in the Rangitaiki River.

Last night police were told a person went into Lake Matahina with the young child.

Image / NZ Herald Graphics
Image / NZ Herald Graphics

A police media spokeswoman confirmed police found the adult in the area unharmed but had not found the child.

After an extensive search and rescue operation the body of the child was located in the river about 11pm.

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A security guard near the scene of where the body of a 2-year-old was found. Photo / NZ Herald
A security guard near the scene of where the body of a 2-year-old was found. Photo / NZ Herald

A homicide inquiry has been commenced and police are speaking to a person of interest.

Police are not seeking anyone else in relation to this inquiry.

Lake Matahina is in the Whakatāne district, between Kawerau and Taneatua.