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Rescuers' worst fears were confirmed Saturday morning when the body of a toddler missing since Friday was pulled from the frigid waters of the Banias.
The two-year-old girl had disappeared on a vacation with her parents and three siblings near the stream, the source of the Jordan River, at the foot of Mt. Hermon.
The father said he had turned away from the toddler, who was celebrating her recent birthday, for a few seconds in order to answer a telephone call. Her distraught parents said that when they looked back, she had vanished.
Police, IDF divers, the volunteer Golan Rescue Team and hundreds of civilian volunteers flocked to the scene of the girl's disappearance Friday afternoon and began searching on land and in the water.
Underwater searches were called off after dark, but the surrounding area was lit with spotlights and lookouts continued to comb the area throughout the night for the child.
But when searches resumed with first light on Saturday morning, all traces of hope disappeared after divers recovered the toddler's body a kilometer and a half downstream from the place where she was last seen alive.
Earlier Friday, the body of a 60-year-old woman was discovered on the coast near Bet Yannai in the Sharon region. Police believe that the woman had drowned in the ocean earlier and her body had washed up on the quiet beach.
Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the woman's death, and trying to determine her identity.