A 3-year-old boy freezes to death outside a Toronto home after wandering away in the middle of the night. A massive search for the 3-year-old took on an extreme sense of urgency as Toronto is experiencing a deep freeze with temperatures hovering around -20 degrees.
Volunteers joined law enforcement in this massive search that ended tragically when everyone’s worst fears were realized. The Toronto toddler was found without vital signs “tucked away in the corner of a backyard of a nearby home,” according to Sports Act on Feb. 20.
Toronto is mourning the child’s death with an outpouring of love as people stopped by the memorial held for the tot. So far $150,000 has been raised for his funeral expenses as little 3-year-old Elijah Marsh’s death has touched many hearts today.
According to the Stratford Beacon Journal today, the money raised is to help the boy’s family after this accidental death has left them devastated. Hoping for a $20,000 goal to pay for the child’s funeral, the campaign on the crowd-sourcing website, tilt.com. had collected more than the $150,000 in just over 24 hours.
3-year-old Elijah is seen on security camera pushing his way through the outside doors of the apartment complex and wandering into the night cold early Thursday morning. He had been staying with a family member when he got up out of bed and walked outside at about 4 a.m. into the freezing Toronto night.
According to the CBC News, Elijah was just wearing a T-shirt, diaper and boots when he wandered outside of his grandmother’s apartment complex early Thursday morning. When the boy was found, he had been outside for about six hours.
Police were notified of the tot’s disappearance at about 7:30 a.m. when the family got up and found the front door of the apartment left open and the 3-year-old missing. The apartment he was staying in was his grandmother’s, where he stayed while his mother was working.
Family members said they put him to bed on Wednesday night and it was Thursday morning when they found he had gone missing. The search for Elijah was immediately pulled together with officers on horseback, a helicopter and volunteers from the neighborhood coming every inch of the area.
Police asked neighbors to check stairwells, hallways and backyards of their homes for the toddler. “Police response was aggressive and massive,” said Insp. Frank Barredo. People hearing about the missing boy on the radio that morning came from all over the city to join in the search, it really was an urgent, heart-felt matter for all involved.
When the boy was found his grandmother could only say “No, no, no,” through her tears. Neighbors who spoke with the media said that the 3-year-old was often with his grandmother overnight while his mom had to work.