PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) A crowd of people released balloons released over the Delaware River Monday evening in memory of 15-year-old DeAndray Lindsay.
"We're very heartbroken. We lost somebody that didn't deserve to be lost," said Sietta Lindsay, DeAndray's mother. Last Thursday DeAndray, one of his brothers and some friends were at the Graffiti Pier section of the river in Fishtown. Police say DeAndray jumped in but didn't come back up. Rescue crews recovered his body from the water. He died at the hospital.
"He just did what children do at 15 years old and they were only doing what children do in the summertime. They were swimming and having fun," said Samuel Covington. He says he was like a father to the teen who he says was an extraordinary football player. But more importantly his mom describes him as a model kid.
"My son was a well-mannered kid, never got in no trouble and was respectable," she said. Family and friends also lit candles and signed a poster board decorated with pictures of the teen who they say stood just over six feet tall. His brother is overcome with grief. Family members say he held DeAndray's hand trying to save him but the pull of the water was too strong. Family members are leaning on their faith.
"I'm just telling everybody today to trust in the Lord with all your heart right now. That's what I'm doing. I don't understand any of this," said Stanley Whitaker, the teen's cousin.
Sietta says she's standing strong for her son and her other children. The family has a message to other parents.
"All we ask is that yal pay attention to yal's children. Pay attention to where they are and just spend as much time because tomorrow is never promised," said Sietta and Samuel.
The teen's mother says he did not know how to swim. They're asking for donations to help bury him. They've set up a GoFundMe page in his name.