Police investigating the death of a 9-year-old boy in Otautau are appealing for sightings of a young person near a river.

Acting Inspector Greg Baird said Police are interested in any sightings of a young person who may have been walking along the Aparima riverbank between Otautau and Fairfax, or anybody walking on the main road between Otautau and Fairfax, between 6pm and
midnight on Wednesday .

Police are also interested in sightings of a youth walking in the general area of Eton St, Otautau between the same times.

A person appeared in Invercargill Youth Court yesterday charged with the child's murder.

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The death has thrown the small Southland town into a state of grief. The boy's father told media yesterday he was stunned and devastated by news of his son's death.

Officers have continued with the forensic examination of two properties today and will be conducting an area canvas in Otautau tomorrow.

Baird said Police and Victim Support will continue to work with family, schools and the community throughout the investigation.

He reassured members of the public this was an isolated incident and said Police were not seeking anyone else in relation to the tragedy.

Police initially said the victim was 8 years old but have since corrected this age.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should contact Police on 105.