A little boy who died in Victoria’s snowfields was happily playing with a snowman he built when he went missing.
Akhtar Javed, father of seven-year-old Haadi Akhtar, said his children had been delighted to come back to their chalet and find no one had wrecked the snowman they built.
“He came and hugged me and hugged my wife and said `thanks mum to bring us here, thanks dad to bring us here’,” Mr Javed told the Seven Network on Friday.
“They were so happy to see their snowman still alive, nobody destroyed or wrecked the snowman.”
Minutes later, his daughter said she couldn’t see him, Mr Javed said.
Haadi was found unconscious and completely buried in snow about 6.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday near a chalet, nearly two hours after he went missing.
He was found just 40 metres from his siblings after wandering off while they were playing in the snow.
“It’s very hard for us to cope. We’re going through a very difficult time at the moment,” Mr Javed told reporters.
“We lost our kid so we don’t want anyone to lost their loved ones.”
Mr Javed said he thought the snow would be a safe place for his Roxburgh Park family to have fun.
“The sorrow is so deep we can’t forget our son. We’ll never forget our son,” he said.
Family friend Atif Mirza, whose son Zain went to school with seven-year-old Haadi, said the boy was an “angel”.
“He was a lovely, lovely kid,” Mr Mirza told AAP.
“He was very intelligent and smart.”
Haadi was found buried by snow which came loose from his lodge, hiding him from his family.
Mr Mirza said it wasn’t the family’s first time in the snow.
“The kids were so excited and pushing their parents to take them to the snow,” he said.
“They are going through a pretty tough time, both mum and dad.”
Mr Mirza said Haadi and his four-year-old brother had built a snowman and they were playing in the snow when Haadi wandered off a short distance.
The family initially thought someone had taken him.
Haadi was taken to Mt Buller Medical Centre but later died from cardiac arrest after doctors spent “significant time” trying to revive him, Ambulance Victoria said.
A service to commemorate Haadi was held on Friday.