Boy, 3, Dies After Wandering Out in Cold

Toronto in mourning after Elijah Marsh's lonely death
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2015 1:34 AM CST
Updated Feb 20, 2015 4:34 AM CST
Boy, 3, Dies After Wandering Out in Cold
In this frame grab from security camera video provided by the Toronto Police Service via the Canadian Press, 3-year-old Elijah stands in an apartment building lobby early yesterday.   (AP Photo/Toronto Police Service via The Canadian Press)

Toronto is in mourning after the horrifying death of a 3-year-old boy who wandered outside at night wearing only a T-shirt, pullup diaper, and winter boots. Little Elijah Marsh is believed to have left his grandparents' apartment at around 4am yesterday morning, opening two more doors—the second of which would have locked behind him—to make his way out of the building, reports the National Post. When his family discovered he was missing at around 7:30am, police launched what they say was an "aggressive and massive" search involving more than 100 officers, as well as volunteers from across the city, the Toronto Star reports. Elijah was found with no vital signs in a corner of a backyard at around 10am and was pronounced dead in a hospital hours later.

Security camera video showed the boy leaving the building on a night where temperatures were as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit, the AP reports. "What happened here is unbelievably sad. I just think about that child being outside. Alone. And it being dark, and it is so cold and he was 3—and he comes out—and he can't get back in the building, because the door here locks behind you," a neighbor who joined the search tells the Post. "All he would want was his mom and dad. I always see him with his family. I have never seen that boy alone." Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair says the whole city shares the family's sorrow. "It will remind all of us to go home and hug our kids a little bit more," he says. "I think we all will grieve for that child and for their family and for their community for its loss." (A similar story from December had a much happier ending.)

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