Murder charge expected over body in river

Police divers were called in on Friday morning to search for a fiver-year-old boy who is feared drowned

Police have located the body of a child following a search of the Murray River.

It has been transported to Deniliquin and is still to be formally identified but police believe it to be that of the woman's missing five-year-old son.

The river is known for its strong current and many snags, complicating the search for the many crews involved, including Victoria police divers and NSW search and rescue, SES and the Rural Fire Service.

Her youngest son was screaming, the detective told the court, then the nine-year-old boy managed to struggle free.

The mother was refused bail in a court appearance Friday - she will reappear via audio-visual link on Monday, March 6, when additional charges are expected to be laid.

Mr Brooks said the grandparents were in a state of shock but rallying behind their older grandson, who is in a stable condition at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.

The father of the boys has spoken of his devastation and said he was numb after learning about what had happened.

She previously appeared in Bendigo Magistrates Court sobbing uncontrollably as details of her alleged offences were read out.

The woman turned herself in to police in Echuca, on the NSW-Victoria border, on Thursday night after she was apparently attacked by a dog at the scene of the incident. The dog has bitten the 27-year-old mother and the nine-year-old.

Lawyer Dale Brooks, who is representing the grandmother of the boys, told news.com.au the 27-year-old was a long-time ice addict and well-known to local authorities.

A search was launched to find the missing child, who was last seen in the water.

"What's really, really troubling about it was neither the police nor the Department of Corrective Services or Family and Community Services actually considered the risk to these little fellers", Mr Brooks said.

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The woman had allegedly told onlookers "I had to drown my babies".

UPDATE 10.15am: The woman remains under Victoria Police guard at Echuca Hospital this morning.

Despite the grandmother taking out an apprehended violence order against the woman a year ago, authorities still expected them to live together.

"I was in my house at the time", she said, crying.

The distraught owner of the dog, named Buddy, told reporters the pit bull was trying to save the boy.

The daughter then "snatched" the children in the grandmother's vehicle. And the child (in hospital) has lost his mother and probably his brother, it will change his life forever.

"It will rock the community of Australia", he said.

The couple had taken out an apprehended violence order against their own daughter in May previous year, which required that she not "assault, molest, harass, threaten or otherwise interfere with" her mother, as well as orders that she should not approach her mother within 24 hours of consuming liquor or illicit drugs.

Superintendent Condon said there had been "a couple of incidents" with the family since the mother was released from jail.

Police spoke to the 9-year-old briefly last night.

Victorian Police divers have also been searching the river.

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