Strangers, searchers line streets for Sidney Heidrick's funeral - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Strangers, searchers line streets for Sidney Heidrick's funeral procession

The community has provided Sidney Heidrick's family with overwhelming support since his death. (Source: FBI) The community has provided Sidney Heidrick's family with overwhelming support since his death. (Source: FBI)
Hundreds have gathered to remember Sidney at vigils. (Source: WOIO) Hundreds have gathered to remember Sidney at vigils. (Source: WOIO)
A memorial continues to grow by Lake Erie. (Source: WOIO) A memorial continues to grow by Lake Erie. (Source: WOIO)
WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) -

Hundreds came out to St. Ladislas Catholic Church in Westlake to pay their final respects to 4-year-old Sidney Heidrick, the young boy with autism who pulled on the heart strings of hundreds who never knew him, but came out to search for him.

Nearly one week ago, Sidney disappeared from his grandparents' home in Sheffield Lake.

His mother posted a plea on Facebook, asking for the public’s help in searching for her son, and hundreds responded, showing up in droves to comb the area along Lake Road where he was last seen.

Not even 24 hours later, Sidney's body was pulled from Lake Erie not far from where he disappeared.

At the service for Sidney were some of those who searched for him, and some who just wanted to show their support for the family.

They lined the street near St. Ladislas, some carrying balloons.

Tamiee Lanson was one of those who helped look for Sidney.

She says her house is only a few streets from where Sidney lived in Bay Village. She released balloons along with some others as the hearse passed by.

To her, the balloons symbolized something very touching.

"A sweet child going to heaven, being embraced by God," Lanson said.

Donna Williams also released balloons for Sidney. She skipped work to help search for the child.

"You seen his picture and your heart melted. You felt you had to do something. That's how it was for me - just thinking about the family,
 Williams said.

Sidney's family had shared personal stories with those who came to look for him. Those stories captured the hearts of people like Ashley Baicel, a mother herself, who felt like she had to help out in the search.

"How he loved the book, 'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom' and his favorite letter was X."

Baicel and others like her wanted to honor Sidney’s family’s request to gather along the roadway near the church and release balloons.

Many say they want the family to know they are still here for them and still willing to help out in any way possible.

"It's tragic. God bless them. In this time of need, and if anyone can do anything in the city. They just have to reach out," Lanson added.

Sidney is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Avon.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Sidney's name to the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland.

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