Candlelight memorial held in Lindsay, Ont. for boy found dead in river

People gathered at a waterfront park in Lindsay, Ont. Friday evening to remember a young boy who was found dead in a river earlier this week.

Hundreds attended a candlelight memorial in honour of Draven Graham at Riviera Park, near Colborne and Lindsay streets.

A growing makeshift memorial remembering Draven Graham is seen at a Lindsay, Ont. park.

The 11-year-old boy with autism went missing the afternoon of June 12 and was found deceased roughly 24 hours later in the Scugog River.

At the vigil, people placed stuffed toys, balloons and messages of support at a growing makeshift memorial in the park.

The community observed a moment of silence and tossed flowers into the river.

People toss flowers into the Scugog River at a memorial for Draven Graham.

One of Draven’s grandfathers sang Amazing Grace, while another shared his memories of the boy, remembering his grandson as a “sweet little boy.”

Draven’s disappearance prompted a large-scale response, which saw police from several jurisdictions as well as volunteers searching for him on foot and boat. They also used a drone, a helicopter, and police dogs in their effort to find him.

The child’s death has renewed calls for the creation of a vulnerable persons’ alert system. So far, more than 68,000 people have signed the “Draven Alert” petition for “missing autistic and vulnerable/special needs children.”

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