The church was packed beyond capacity and filled with pictures and flowers and mourners who still cannot understand why this had to happen to the nice boy who had many friends, was well-liked and loved skateboarding. The emotions carried from the inside to the outside of the church, tears of sadness flowed for Eli and his family.
The somber services were followed by a funeral procession to Mission Hills Cemetary where his family, friends and many from around the community paid their respects.
Just a few hours prior to the funeral services thousands of people also turned up for a candlelight vigil in San Fernando yesterday to honor Eli, the 14 year old who drowned in the Los Angeles River.
On Feb. 17, he was walking to his grandmother's home after school from Cesar Chavez Learning Academies High School during a day of heavy rain, his route included crossing the Pacoima Wash. The local Police sought the public's help in locating Eli who was last seen about 1 p.m. in the 1000 block of Arroyo Street leaving his school but as few leads turned up any results the FBI was called and joined in the search. Eli was missing for more than a week before his body was found on an island in the river near Los Feliz, his death has been ruled an accidental drowning.
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