‘We need to keep the story alive’: Montrealers form human chain for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou
Dozens of people gathered on Saturday in the area where 10-year-old Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou was last seen, to form a human chain to show his family that Montrealers are still standing with them.
“I think it’s important for us to keep this story alive,” said Montreal resident Melanie Charron.
“I think this shows that it could happen to anyone, anywhere — this truly hits home because it’s here in Montreal.”
Ariel was last seen on March 12, when he left his home in Ahunstic-Cartierville to meet a friend.
After weeks of searches, the Montreal Police announced on Monday they were suspending their river search.
They also moved their command post from Galeries Normandie to the neighbouring police station.
“This is really typical of a missing children’s case,” said Pina Arcamone, general director of Missing Children’s Network.
“At the beginning of a disappearance, there’s a lot of information that comes in. The media really gives it a lot of attention. But as the days go on and there are no new developments, we start talking less about the child. But this child is still missing — he still needs the population to be looking out for him so we can bring him home.”
To keep Ariel’s name in people’s hearts and minds, friends and family and even many who never met him joined hand-in-hand on Saturday along Gouin Ouest.
They marched, chanted and reinforced their support for the family.
Ariel’s family once again reiterated their hope that the police and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante will continue to do whatever they can to keep the search for their son ongoing.
“Ariel is somewhere,” said his father, Kouadiou Frédéric Kouakou. “It will take time, but Ariel will come back.”
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