SHEFFIELD LAKE, OH (WOIO) - Hundreds have attended vigils to remember Sidney Heidrick. The 4-year-old, who had autism, drowned in Lake Erie near Sheffield Lake over the weekend.
The first vigil was held Sunday by BAYarts on Cleveland's west side. Another vigil was held Tuesday at Shell Cove Park in Bay Village.
Sidney's body was pulled from Lake Erie Saturday afternoon. A police officer patrolling on jet skis spotted the boy's body in the lake next to a private pier. Divers recovered him.
The search for the little boy began Friday afternoon. He was in the care of his grandparents when he went missing in Sheffield Lake.
Sheffield Lake Police Chief Tony Campo said Sidney was spotted by a passerby around 4:30 p.m. on Friday in the 4800 block of Lake Road and that officers were on the scene within one minute of receiving the call. By the time they arrived, he had vanished.
He was also seen on surveillance video walking eastbound.
The Cleveland FBI and several other agencies assisted in a large-scale search. Chief Campo said volunteers poured in from everywhere with an overwhelming response.
Dozens came to help in the search -- on land, water and inside sewer pipes.
"It's important because we have two autistic boys and I know if one of them was missing I would want to come out and search, so I came out here. I couldn't sit at home. I had to come out," said a parent volunteer.
Michele Ryan was part of the hundreds who searched for Sidney.
"We started yesterday afternoon right about the 4:30 hour and finished up at 1," said Ryan.
"And I said hide-and-seek, hide-and-seek, come out. Your mom's looking for you. She's real worried," said Ronna Taylor.
This is not the outcome they wanted to hear.
"It's a 4-year-old. He hasn't even started life," said Ryan.
A makeshift memorial of balloons and teddy bears grows at Shell Cove Park. The Sheffield Lake community has already come together to raise more than $20,500 for the family through a GoFundMe account. The community has been asked to keep their porch lights on until Aug. 1 to "shine Sidney's way to heaven."
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