Authorities have recovered the body of a 6-year-old boy presumed drowned after he went missing Saturday while wading in the Mississippi River off Boom Island.

Search and rescue crews scoured the water near downtown Minneapolis for two days, eventually finding the child near the Hennepin Avenue Bridge — about half a mile from where he disappeared. Deputies pulled his body from the river around 11 a.m. Monday.

"This has been an extremely difficult few days," Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson said in a statement. "Water Patrol has been working tirelessly and the family has been at the scene the entire time. For them, this heartbreaking story is far from over, but we hope that the recovery of the child's body can be a first step towards healing."

The child was among five young friends with two adults on a bike ride Saturday evening when some of the children decided to wade into the river. Three of the children went too far into the water and began to struggle, authorities said. One adult was able to rescue two of the children but the 6-year-old slipped away.

Andy Skoogman, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said the river depth drops substantially near the shoreline and the current runs hard so the children didn't get far before they ran into trouble.

The Minneapolis Fire Department answered the 911 call at 6:20 p.m. Saturday. The department searched by boat, helicopter and sonar. About two hours later, the Hennepin County Sheriff's divers began searching underwater for a body.

The child's name and the exact cause of death will be released pending an autopsy.

Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648