The 4-year-old autistic boy who drowned after wandering from his grandmother's house in South Carolina on Christmas Eve will be laid to rest next week in his hometown of White Plains, New York, his heartbroken family told NBC News.
Carolyn Sumpter said her grandson, Jayden Morrison, will be buried with his favorite possession: an iPad.
"Anything with buttons, he liked to push them," Sumpter said Saturday. Jayden's tiny body was found Friday in a pond near her home in Little River, just north of Myrtle Beach.
"My heart is so broken," Sumpter said, adding that Jayden's two siblings — his 4-year-old twin brother and a 3-year-old sister — can't comprehend what's going on but sense something is wrong. "They’re missing him," she added.
Hundreds of volunteers, rescue crews and police searched for Jayden, who was non-verbal, when he disappeared from Sumpter's home while she was watching him over the Christmas holiday. She said she was appreciative of the outpouring of support during the search and after the young boy's body was retrieved. "The police were terrific. ... They didn't stop," Sumpter added.
Residents in Little River planned to hold a Saturday night candlelight ceremony in memory of Jayden. Family members say they'll remember a boy who was "strong-minded and strong-willed." Jayden's uncle, Robert Sumpter, told NBC News the child was simply "the best nephew to have."
- Body of Missing 4-Year-Old Autistic Boy, Jayden Morrison, Found in Pond
- Hundreds Search for Jayden Morrison, Autistic 4-Year-Old Missing in South Carolina
— Elisha Fieldstadt