Hundreds of mourners grieved together on Saturday in Orangeville while commemorating the life of three-year-old Kaden Young.
Community members held each other while wiping away tears following the service at the Compass Community Church.
“It’s heartbreaking to lose somebody so young,” said community member Kaitlyn Prendergast-Kitchener.
“It’s very tragic and it’s very hard on the people in the community as well as the families and the effort that went into searching for Kaden.”
Kaden’s body was found on April 24 after hundreds of officials and community members searched for two months. He was swept into the water when the van his mother was driving was pulled into a flooded Grand River just west of Orangeville on Feb. 21.
Ontario Provincial Police said Kaden’s body was found by a fisherman in Belwood — 13 kilometres from where he went missing.
Richard Croft, a friend of the Young family, told Global News after the funeral he will always remember Kaden.
“He’s got a special piece of my heart now,” he said.
“I think they’re probably going to grieve for the rest of their lives over this … But it was very touching, hard to not shed a tear.”
OPP Const. Paul Nancekivell told Global News the public funeral was a chance for community members to get closure.
“This is the public’s opportunity to gain closure, to support the family, to come and pay their respects to the family of the tragic loss of this young boy,” he said.
A private funeral was held earlier in the week at Dods and McNair funeral chapel in Mono, Ont. for Kaden’s immediate family and friends.
–With files from Kamil Karamali
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