Friends, family and members of the autism community gathered in an Addison park Saturday to remember the life of 8-year-old Keydall Jones.
Jones went missing last Friday as his mom was trying to get him into the car for school.
Champaigne Williams described her son, who had autism and was non-verbal, as a runner.
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Dallas police responded and declared him “endangered missing.”
Still, the family said they were left on their own to search for most of the next 24 hours.
The next day, police found Jones' body in a nearby pool.
“I always called him my angel on Earth, but now he’s my angel up above,” Williams said.
At Saturday’s vigil, Williams reflected on her son’s joy and love of laughter.
She also expressed gratitude for those who helped their family look for Keydall and have continued to show support in the week since his death.
She and her mother, Maulcia Reece, said they also hoped the gathering would serve as the start of their campaign to get new policy put into place to make sure another family doesn’t feel their pain.
“Every child is worth it. Every child is worthy of help. Every child needs love. Every child needs support,” Williams said.
Reece said they’re working on getting a “Keydall Alert” passed.
It would be similar to an Amber Alert for abducted children but instead would apply to missing children with autism.
“I just, you know, don’t want this to happen to someone else. The pain that we feel I can’t describe,” Reece said.