My heart truly breaks for Elijah and his family after his tragic death. Across my social media feed I see pictures of his beautiful face and feel sadden by his passing. His vibrant life was just getting started. Like others I wonder how this could have been prevented?
My son at three also ran out of the house just after dinner in his pyjamas with no shoes in the spring. My neighbour who happened to be looking out the window saw him and chased him down as I too ran out the door in pursuit of him. My son was rescued before anything tragic happened but luck could have swung the other way just like with this sweet boy.
I was happy to see that money has been raised to help give this boy a funeral. It makes me smile when I see that #socialforgood prevails with viral stories such as this.
While the family of a Toronto toddler who died after spending hours in the frigid cold was making funeral arrangements, police charged the mother of another boy after the child was found wandering naked outside in the city’s west end.
The four-year-old boy was found Friday afternoon by a neighbour “just in enough time” and appeared to be all right, Toronto police Const. Jenniferjit Sidhu said.
The child was supposed to be at home, she said, and his mother has been charged with abandoning a child under 10.
The arrest came a day after three-year-old Elijah Marsh died after spending hours in the bitter cold wearing only a shirt, a diaper and boots.
The heartbreaking story is prompting an outpouring of generosity from across the country.
Elijah walked out of the building early Thursday and he was found about six hours later in the corner of a nearby backyard. He was taken to hospital and police announced his death several hours later.
The news of Elijah’s death was a “gut-wrenching moment” for Justin Kozuch, 36, a Toronto man who has a three-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter.
Kozuch said the tragedy really hit home, prompting him to start a fundraising campaign on Tilt.com to help raise money for the boy’s funeral.
“As a parent we go to the ends of the earth to protect our children,” he said. “For me, it was absolutely heartbreaking.”
As of Friday afternoon, more than $118,000 had already been raised, a response Kozuch calls “wonderful.” Tilt.com is waiving all credit card fees for those who contribute.
Kozuch said he plans to meet with Elijah’s family soon, although he doesn’t yet know what he’ll say to them when he offers them the money raised.
“I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” he said.
On the pavement in front of the apartment building where Elijah was last seen alive, people left flowers and stuffed animals in memory of the little boy with the braided hair and happy smile. And someone left a winter coat and snow pants.
Some contributors shared their thoughts after making a donation.
“This broke my heart,” said Jennifer Yearwood. “It’s the least I could do for that sweet little boy, Elijah.”
“The generosity of people in times of such great loss and tragedy is heartwarming,” said Dawn MacDonald. “God bless Elijah. You are now with the angels dear little man.”
Mike Colle, who represents the riding in the provincial legislature, said he was bringing food and coffee over to the boy’s family Friday afternoon.
Colle said he has contacted the local school trustee and the wheels are in motion to have Elijah’s nearby daycare renamed after the boy.