Mourners gather to remember boy with autism found dead in Pearland

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Sunday, November 27, 2016
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Vigil held to remember 9-year-old boy found dead in Pearland, Christine Dobbyn reports.

PEARLAND, TX (KTRK) -- Hundreds of people who searched for a missing boy with autism attended a vigil in his memory Saturday night in Pearland. Police found the body of 9-year-old Marcus McGhee in a pond on the property where he was last seen.

McGhee was found at 7am Saturday, just one hour before volunteers were set to resume a search.

"This is the worst possible news a family can get. Their family is together. They're devastated. Right now, I think, more than anything they need our prayers," said Lieutenant Onesimo Lopez.

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The news is devastating for the entire community.

"Hearing it was very upsetting, but I will tell you that I've been in Pearland for 12 years and this community is amazing. The family is going to need prayers and thoughts for a long time," said Michelle Neuzil with the Pearland Citizens Police Academy.

VIDEO: Missing boy with autism found dead

At the Dad's Club of Pearland, balloons and teddy bears filled the baseball field. A memorial has been growing since the boy went missing at the Pearland home, located in the 6700 block of Fite Road, where he was spending the holidays. McGhee was visiting with his family from Connecticut.

Volunteers searched the city, from parking lots to the woods, hoping for a different outcome. Dive teams had previously checked the pond, but didn't find him.

A Pearland family cut their holiday short and drove back from Brownsville to help in the search.

"I said, 'Dad there's a missing child.' He couldn't sleep, he kept pacing back and forth," Mario Esquivel Junior said. "He said, 'Let's go check.'"

RELATED: Searchers scour area for missing boy in Pearland

He says they were heartbroken when they learned the child's body was found.

"I feel so bad, but we had a lot of support in this town. I have never seen so many people. It looks like a hurricane is coming, so much help," Esquivel Junior added. "Everybody pitched in."

McGhee is the relative of former NBA star Marcus Camby.

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