LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) – For the first time since four-year-old Jayden Morrison's body was found, his family, along with the community, joined together to remember his life.
"They're hearts and energy was in it as much as ours was, and the pains or the closure of trying to find my son," said Jayden's father, Andre Morrison. "This community needed just as much closure with these events as we do," he said.
Dozens of family members, volunteers from the search effort, and law enforcement officers paid their respects to four-year-old Jayden Morrison tonight.
There were songs, tears, and a family standing strong with its community in the wake of a tragedy. "It's, I don't want to say overwhelming, but it's uplifting, it's embracing. You sacrifice Christmas, you sacrifice Christmas eve to search for my son, a son that's a visitor down here, and the love that has come back for my son is like they knew him from the day he got out the womb," the father said.
The family says they felt that support since Jayden's grandmother reported him missing on Christmas Eve. For the next two and a half days law enforcement along with hundreds of volunteers scoured the area in search of the four year old.
That search came to an abrupt conclusion, Friday when officers found Jayden's body floating in a pond not far from the house he was staying.
His father says soon after, he went down to the water himself. He says Jayden will forever live on there, and now the community is thinking about renaming the pond after the young boy.
"That pond, or as I call it, Lake Jayden, is symbolic now because it's the essence of life," Morrison said.
On top of the father, some of the community members also spoke at the vigil. They made it clear they will continue to support the family no matter what the future holds.
"In a time of loss, the good in people really does come out, and they come and support even people that they don't know. It really is a sense of community here at Hidden Lakes," said Gene Hendricks, a member of the community.