Police have confirmed they have retrieved a body believed to be of missing toddler Sam Trott from a Landsdale Lake.
The State Emergency Service cordoned off an area around Snake Swamp in Warradale Park as divers pulled a small body from the water, with a tent erected at the scene and about 50 SES volunteers setting up a local second boundary.
A desperate 24-hour search for the missing toddler overnight failed to find the little boy, with efforts stepped up on Wednesday morning as the community rallied to help locate him.
Sam's parents Lyndal and Matthew were notified of the discovery just after 10am on Wednesday.
WA Police thanked members of the public and SES volunteers for kindly giving their time to assist in the search for Sam, while the WA Police Union also paid its respects.
"Our hearts go out to Sam Trott's family and the officers who recovered his little body from the lake. Devastating news," the union tweeted.
The tragic discovery comes after hundreds of residents from Landsdale and beyond, some as far as Rockingham, joined more than 100 police in the search for Sam in the bushland suburb, about 20 minutes north of Perth.
There was a massive queue at 9am outside the Warradale Community Centre as volunteers joined forces to sign up for the search. There were so many volunteers wanting to help that police had to tell some of them to return in two hours, as the SES could safely accompany only 60 people at a time.
Two-and-a-half year-old Sam walked out of the family home on Walbrook Mews in Landsdale about 10.30am on Tuesday when tradesmen were understood to have left the front door open.
Hundreds of Landsdale locals, some as far as Rockingham, joined an army of police, emergency services and volunteers combing surrounding streets, parks and bushland on foot and horseback, with police dogs and the air wing unit.
Residents leave out cookies and water for little Sam overnight. Now missing for 20 hours. #FindSam @9NewsPerth pic.twitter.com/aCtggb37bC — Emma Sheridan (@Emma_Sheridan9) December 9, 2014
It was well past midnight and hundreds of locals were still turning up to the police control point at the Warradale Community Centre, where people of all ages were split into search parties, using mobile phones, torches and headlights in their quest to find Sam.
Community rallies to find Sam
Sam's grandfather Geoff Trott said the family was extremely grateful for the outpouring of community support and assistance for his "very special" grandson.
He told Radio 6PR he'd been up all night searching for the missing toddler.
"It's not a time when you can sleep," he said.
He said Sam's parents were "very distraught" and had been out all night searching the streets, calling Sam's name.
The family was overwhelmed by the response to the search for little Sam.
"It's staggering. We always knew Perth was a pretty generous place, but the spirit of people has just been fantastic," Mr Trott said.
A Landsdale local told Fairfax Media that the whole community was out looking for Sam as police upped the ante in their desperate search for the toddler.
Another resident Anna, who has lived in Landsdale for 20 years, joined other locals and people from all over Perth in the search for Sam on Tuesday night, and said it was amazing to see a community rally together in such circumstances.
"We joined the search for a few hours last night with no luck unfortunately... the poor little darling, I hope they find him," she said.
Students and teachers from Lansdale Primary School were alerted to the search for Sam over the school PA on Tuesday afternoon and also helped joined the search to find him, as their parents collected them after school.
Landsdale locals told Fairfax Media that police had sent alert messages to residents asking them to help keep an eye out for Sam by searching their properties thoroughly.
'Sam walked out the front door'
Sam's parents Lyndal and Matthew appealed for help on Tuesday afternoon, with his mother saying she asked Sam to close the fridge door and, when she heard it beep again, again asked her son to close it before realising he was not in the house.
Workmen had been at the home and Ms Trott said one of them may have left the door open.
"He doesn't know how to open doors but the door was wide open," a distraught Ms Trott said.
- with Cortlan Bennett and Chenee Marrapodi