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Vigil held in Lindsay, Ont. for Draven Graham after boy’s body found in Scugog River

Click to play video: 'Vigil remembers for Draven Graham whose body was found in Scugog River in Lindsay, Ont.' Vigil remembers for Draven Graham whose body was found in Scugog River in Lindsay, Ont.
A vigil was held Friday to remember Draven Graham, the Lindsay, Ont., boy who was reported missing on June 12 and his body was found nearly 24 hours later in the Scugog River – Jun 20, 2022

Dozens gathered Friday evening in Lindsay, Ont., to remember 10-year-old Draven Graham whose death has gripped the community.

The boy’s body was recovered from the Scugog River on June 13, nearly 24 hours after he was reported missing from his nearby home. City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service, which spearheaded an extensive search, said foul play was not suspected in the boy’s death.

Friday’s candlelight vigil was held in Rivera Park near the river and featured flowers placed in the river, donations of stuffed animals and messages and an emotional rendition of Amazing Grace by Draven’s grandfather Dave Corman.

Read more: OPP divers locate body of missing Lindsay, Ont. boy Draven Graham in Scugog River: police

Draven, who was autistic, was known to hide and had “limited verbal skills” and had a “sensory irritation to touch,” police said during the search. Police noted rainfall on June 12 may have bothered him and prompted him to remove his clothing.

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Draven Graham’s body was found in the Scugog River on June 13, 2022. Harrison Perkins

Draven’s other grandfather Bill Hayes told the crowd Draven’s mother Jessica is a twin. She and her brother both have autistic children. Hayes said when he would call up Draven, his conversation was usually one word: “good.”

“And that was OK,” Hayes said. “That’s what we did. That’s what you would get. You always hoped for more, but that’s what you would get. He was a sweet little boy. A handsome young boy, he really was. And we’re really going to miss him.”

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Shortly after his death, an online petition was launched requesting an Amber Alert system be created for missing autistic and vulnerable/special needs children. In Ontario, OPP issue Amber Alerts for cases involving abductions of children.

Read more: Petition seeks Ontario Amber Alerts for autistic children following death of Draven Graham

As of Monday morning, the petition had nearly 75,000 signatures after originally requesting only 25,000.

A funeral service for Draven is scheduled on Monday at the Mangan Funeral Home at 332 Osborne St. in Beaverton, Ont. Visitation is from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. A private family service and interment will be held.

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The family of Draven asks that memorial donations be made to the Autism Society of Canada. Online condolences are welcomed at manganfuneralhome.com.

A GoFundMe page had raised nearly $24,000, topping the $20,000 goal, to help support funeral costs.

Click to play video: 'Body of missing 11-year-old boy Draven Graham recovered from Scugog River in Lindsay, Ont.' Body of missing 11-year-old boy Draven Graham recovered from Scugog River in Lindsay, Ont.
Body of missing 11-year-old boy Draven Graham recovered from Scugog River in Lindsay, Ont – Jun 14, 2022

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