Hero police officers jumped into a freezing river in a desperate bid to save a young girl who was in an allegedly stolen car that went into the water.
Kiara Moore’s devastated father thanked the officers who rescued her from the family’s silver Mini as he paid tribute to his daughter after her tragic death.
A frantic search was launched on Monday afternoon after the toddler’s mum Kim Rowlands wrote on Facebook that her car was missing with her daughter inside.
Police later confirmed the girl had been rushed to hospital after the car was found in the River Teifi in Cardigan, west Wales.
But officers announced that Kiara, who was set to celebrate her third birthday next Tuesday, died in hospital on Monday night despite efforts to save her.
Her father Jethro Moore, managing director of outdoor activity firm Adventure Beyond, wrote on Facebook: "Thank you all for your help this evening
"A mega thank you the officers who jumped in the river and the rest of the emergency services for all they did.
"Unfortunately Kiara had an amazing but short life."
His business is based at the Scout Hall Boat House on the River Teifi. Police had said they responded to reports the car had gone missing from the old Scout Hall. It was found in the river not far from the hall.
Deputy Chief Constable Darren Davies wrote on Twitter: "Tragic outcome and sincerest condolences to the family.
"Incredible bravery and selflessness shown by officers who entered the water and rescued the child."
In her original appeal, Ms Rowlands wrote on Facebook: "Can everyone look out for the car, It’s been stolen with my 3-year-old daughter in it. Please share!"
She said the car had been taken from the Newcastle Emlyn area.
Her sister Nicola made a similar plea writing: "My sister’s car was stolen from Carmarthenshire with my 3 year old niece inside, please share and get my niece home safe!"
Dyfed-Powys Police also shared an appeal saying they had received a report of the car going missing from the old Scout Hall at around 3.30pm on Monday.
The Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and RNLI and Coastguard teams were called in to help.
At around 6pm, police confirmed the car had been found in the River Teifi with a little girl inside, about two hours after the search began.
Kiara was airlifted to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff by Welsh Air Ambulance, but was later pronounced dead.
No arrests were made in connection with the incident. Police continue to investigate the circumstances.
Dyfed-Powys Police said in a statement: "Sadly, we confirm that Kiara Moore, aged 2 (27/3/15) was pronounced dead at the UHW, Cardiff last night, having being recovered from a car in the River Teifi, Cardigan yesterday afternoon (19th March 2018).
"Kiara’s family is being supported by specialist officers.
"We’re investigating the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident and appeal for witnesses who may have seen the silver Mini enter the river between 3:30pm and 4:50pm on the afternoon of Monday, 19th March to call."
Ceredigion Assembly Member Elin Jones was among those who paid tribute to Kiara, writing on Twitter: "Awful news in Cardigan. A young, innocent life taken so tragically.
"Thank you to those who tried to save her, and our thoughts are with all who loved her.
"Colled ifanc sy’n tristáu cymuned. R.I.P Kiara Moore."
Friends offered condolences to the family on Facebook.
One wrote: "So sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking news to hear. RIP beautiful little angel, my thoughts are with you and your family."
Another added: "I so hope your family will somehow come to terms with this tragic experience that nobody should be going through. Absolutely heartbreaking. RIP angel."
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