A 3-year-old freezes to death in Toronto after wandering outside for hours with hardly any clothes on. The boy was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital hours after he was in bitter cold temperatures wearing only a t-shirt, a diaper, and boots on Thursday. The boy’s family noticed him missing around 7:30 a.m. They last saw him when they put him down for bed at 9:30 Wednesday night.
CBC News reports that Elijah Marsh was discovered around 10:20 a.m. “tucked away in a corner” in the backyard of a home — unconscious near an apartment where he was staying with family, Insp. Barredo says.
Barredo explains that security cameras from the apartment showed a toddler pushing his way out the front doors at around 4:20 a.m. It was well below zero degrees with a frigid wind chill factor, which caused the 3-year-old to freeze in Toronto’s winter weather.
“He left that doorway and made his way out — the exact route we can’t tell you. We may be able to find that out, we may never find that out, but we know where he ended up,” Barredo says.
By 2 p.m. Thursday, Elijah Marsh was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Over 100 officers were involved in Elijah’s search, and the community wanted to do everything they could to help find the child. An online effort to raise funds for the boy’s funeral at $20,000 reached $15,000 by Friday morning. A hashtag #RIPElijah has been generated on Twitter.
CTV News has a surveillance camera photo of Elijah as he was leaving the building.
Insp. Barredo adds that there wasn’t any indication that Elijah was trying to leave or wanted to run away. He was just wandering around without any real direction and got lost in the middle of it all. Neighbors tell CTV News that the door would have locked behind Elijah, so he wouldn’t have been able to get back inside had he tried to.
Police aren’t sure at all what route the curious toddler took, or how long he’d been there. The homeowner of the house where Elijah was found had no idea he was in her backyard.
“I saw in the news that everybody was looking in their backyard but I didn’t think I should go because I didn’t think he would be here,” Rachel Eizental said.
Those who knew the 3-year-old boy in Toronto say he was a “good-natured” child.
[Photo Credit: CTV News]