Thousands of people in Connecticut packed an emotional ceremony to mourn a 10-year-old boy who drowned after getting sucked into a drainpipe, the New Haven Register reports. Ben Callahan was playing with his two brothers Friday when he slipped down an embankment, into a culvert, and was sucked into the 4-foot-wide pipe, per the AP. The pipe discharges into the Branford River. Police using divers, sonar, and a drone found Ben's body three hours later, about 500 feet from where he disappeared. Branford Police Capt. Geoffrey Morgan says via NBC Connecticut that parents should exercise vigilance after heavy rains. "When [a] waterway swells around rainstorms, remind your children to not get around those pipes," he says.
At a vigil Sunday night, mourners holding candles packed Branford Green to remember Ben, who was called a "little warrior," a star athlete, and musician who loved art. The Branford Youth Football club planned to retire Ben's No. 2 jersey, per the Register. Ben's dad, David Callahan, described his son as "sunshine," per FOX61, a boy who "made personal connections with so many people." Younger brother Scout Callahan, who with older brother Cooper made a futile bid to save the boy, said Ben "was friendly, he was funny, he was fast, he was strong." A crowdfunding campaign set up to help the family recalls Ben as a "one of a kind and special boy with a huge heart and smile. He excelled in every sport he played, devoting himself 100% always." (A New Hampshire teen died after likely plunging into an open sewer.)