A prayer vigil took place in Montreal Saturday to mark the two-month anniversary of the disappearance of a 10-year-old boy.
Family and friends of Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou gathered in a church basement near his family’s Ahuntsic-Cartierville home at 11 a.m.
“It’s really important to show the family we are with them, and we think of them every day,” Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough mayor Emilie Thullier told Global News.
Kouakou left his family’s home on March 12 to walk to a friend’s house and hasn’t been seen since. The boy’s parents took part in the ceremony that included sermons and songs.
“It makes us feel that we are not alone, that we are supported by many people in their prayers. It gives us hope,” said Kouadio Frederic Kouakou, Ariel’s father.
Earlier this week his family launched a new billboard and leafletting campaign in the hopes of gaining new information.
WATCH: The Search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou
Police say they believe Kouakou fell into a river and drowned, while his father insists he was abducted.
His father spoke of a new petition that family is working on. They want the province to create a new police squad that specializes in missing children.
“It’s about creating a squad, a special police unit that will include the Montreal police, and the provincial police,” the elder Kouakou said. He told reporters the petition has the support of local MNA Rita de Santis and would be launched at the National Assembly early next week.
The family is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who helps to bring the boy home alive.
— With files from The Canadian Press