A missing 3-year-old Canadian boy died Thursday after wandering into -4 degree Fahrenheit temperatures wearing nothing but a T-Shirt, diaper and boots, the Huffington Post reports.
The child, Elijah Marsh of Toronto, was pronounced dead at the city’s North York General Hospital shortly after police and volunteers located him about 10 a.m. huddled near an air conditioner just a few feet away from his family’s apartment, writes the news outlet. Surveillance footage shows a child resembling Elijah leaving home about 4:05 a.m, the Post says.
The incident began after his family put him to bed Wednesday and reportedly woke to find him missing about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, the report says. Neighbors from near and far joined police in the search for the child amid an intense cold snap in the city.
Elijah’s grandmother sobbed and hugged friends as she left her apartment Thursday afternoon.
“No, no, no,” was all she could say through tears.
Her long-time friend and neighbour, Millie Dyer, said the family was distraught.
“He’s very energetic and runs around all over the place,” Dyer said moments before hearing of the boy’s death. “He’s a very smart little boy.”
Dyer said Elijah, whom she called “sweet,” was over at his grandmother’s place all the time and has two aunts who also live in the same apartment complex.
A crowd funding campaign was started at Tiltto help his family pay for funeral expenses. On Monday the campaign, whose initial goal was $20,000, had raised $173,532.
“Because of you, we’ve now raised over $150,000,” Justin Kozuch, the Tilt campaign organizer, posted on the page this weekend. “I’m so humbled at the generosity of everyone who donated and supported this cause. Thank you.”