WATCH: Mark McAllister reports from the public visitation of Elijah Marsh.
TORONTO – A Toronto boy who died after wandering outside in the middle of a bitterly cold night dressed only in a shirt, diapers and boots was remembered as being “funny” and “unique” as a visitation Thursday.
Three-year-old Elijah Marsh died a week ago after leaving his grandmother’s apartment building, sparking a search that gripped people across the country.
His family has extended a public invitation to today’s visitation and Saturday’s funeral.
The boy’s godmother, Laila Bellomy, spoke outside the visitation and fondly remembered Elijah.
“He was so funny. He’s such an old soul,” she said. “When you hear people talk about one of a kind, he was one of a kind. I have never met a kid like this.”
Family friend Lenore Butcher said they appreciate the support from the community.
“It’s absolutely overwhelming. They cannot express in words,” she said. “It just feels like the whole city is mourning with them. And they really feel it. They feel everything.”
An online fundraising campaign to raise money for Elijah’s funeral brought in a total of $173,557. And the mother of a four-year-old boy – who wandered naked out in the cold the day after Elijah died but was found by a neighbour just in time – appeared in a Toronto court.
The boy’s 23-year old mother’s case was remanded to March 23.
The family has also created a Facebook page for those who want to leave a special message.
With a file from Global News