A seven-year-old autistic boy who was found in the woods of Cape Breton on Monday has died in hospital.

James Delorey was found by a search and rescue team, suffering from hypothermia and found with a weak pulse after almost 48 hours lost in the woods in blizzard conditions near his home north of Sydney, N.S.

“It is with our deepest regret to advise you that James Delorey passed away at the IWK Health Centre early this morning,” Jocelyn Vine, the vice-president of patient care for the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, told a press conference Tuesday morning.

Vine also read a statement from a member of the Delorey family, thanking everyone involved in the boy’s care.

“It was amazing to see how everyone came together,” Vine read. “It really kept my hopes alive. We will have more to say later after we’ve had some time.”

The boy was flown to IWK Health Centre in Halifax, the largest children‚s hospital in the Maritimes, for treatment. Due to Delorey’s weakened condition, it took medical workers a few hours to stabilize him before he could be moved from where he was found. A path also had to be cut in the thick bush to allow a LifeFlight helicopter to remove him from the scene.

Delorey had been missing from his home near South Bar, N.S., approximately 10 kilometers north of Sydney, N.S., since Saturday night when he went outside to play with his dog. The boy was not wearing a coat, hat or mittens.

Police say the dog wandered out of the woods Monday morning and a professional tracker managed to follow the dog’s paw prints back into the woods.

Delorey was found shortly after wards by a search and rescue team, about one kilometer away from a command post that had been set up.

The search for the young boy was hampered by a winter storm which hit the area on Sunday and by frigid weather.

The temperature held at 3C for most of Saturday night but gusting wind dropped the mercury to 0C Sunday, grounding a rescue helicopter.

By Monday, the temperature dropped to -3C on the island.

More than 100 people and three aircraft were involved in the search.

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