After an 81-day search for Frank Young, his community came together to put him to rest.
The five-year-old’s funeral was held Friday in his home community of Shoal Lake.
More than 250 community leaders, friends, classmates and relatives attended the service for Young, who disappeared from a Red Cree Nation home on April 19.
After more than two months of searching, Young’s body was found Saturday in the Carrot River, which runs through the community, not far from where he was last seen.
Toys and decorations from his favorite cartoon show, Paw Patrol, lined the tables as community leaders paid tribute to the boy whose story captured the hearts of Canadians.
“It will take time to heal,” said Tammy Cook-Searson, who lost her son to drowning 29 years ago. “There will be difficult days ahead.”
“There will still be a lot of questions.”
She encouraged Young’s parents to seek community support and understand the grieving process.
“You can’t blame anyone. Just find a way to support each other and ask for help.
Over 600 volunteers from across Western Canada came to help with the search, while donations, prayers and thoughts came from across the country.
Shoal Lake Cree Nation Chief Marcel Head said the donations will help build a memorial at the spot where Young was discovered.
“We walked with you during these times of search,” he told the family, as he offered his condolences.
He also said the two communities of Red Earth and Shoal Lake will continue to support their families in times of need.
“To help quell that frustration, to help quell that anger.”
Police said there were no indications of suspicious activity or foul play, but the investigation is continuing.