Neighbours heard a mother screaming 'the back door was open' before her missing five-year-old son was found in a river and later confirmed dead.
Officers were called at 5.45am today to the Sarn area of Bridgend, south Wales, to reports of a missing child.
A boy's body was then found in the River Ogmore. He was taken to Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Residents in Sarn told how they were woken at around 5.30am by the boy's mother screaming 'the back door was open'.
Police are investigating how the child ended up in the water and dozens of officers have been at the scene.
One neighbour said: 'I could hear the mum screaming for her son. She was shouting 'the back door was open' and calling for him.
'A short while later the old bill turned up and they've been here ever since.'
A body of a five-year-old boy has been pulled from a Welsh river by police after they were called to reports of a missing child
Officers were called at 5.45am today to the Sarn area of Bridgend, south Wales. The boy's body was found in the River Ogmore (pictured)
Large parts of Pandy Park in Sarn were sealed off as police forensics teams carried out a fingertip search of the area.
Specially trained officers are supporting the boy's family and police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
Other neighbours on the row of terraced flats where the boy lived said they were woken by shouts coming from the downstairs property.
One woman said: 'I could hear a row going off. I think the mother was on the phone to the police.'
Another female resident said: 'The police have been going door-to-door and asking questions and they've been looking in the park all day.'
Residents in Sarn told how they were woken at around 5.30am by the boy's mother screaming 'the back door was open'
Police found the boys body near Pandy Park. Specially trained officers are supporting the boy's family and police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward
Chief Inspector Geraint White, of South Wales Police, said: 'This is a tragic incident in which a young child has sadly lost their life.
'We are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or who has any information, to get in touch.
'We would ask the public not to speculate about this incident on social media as this is an active investigation.
'If you have any information that can help, please report this to us.
'Our thoughts are with the family and we are supporting them in every way we can.'