Waterloo region family mourns nine-year-old who died on camping trip


A family that recently moved from Waterloo Region is remembering the life of their nine-year-old boy after the search for him came to a tragic end.

Everett Freeman is being remembered as a beautiful soul with a shy and sweet demeanour as well as a certain kind of silliness he only shared with a lucky few.

“Everett was such an amazing kid,” said Korey Freeman, Everett’s dad. “He was one in a million.”

Korey says their family of five are from Waterloo Region and moved to Seguin Township in Parry Sound about a month ago. Part of the reasoning for the move was to give their kids a chance to explore the outdoors.

“Everybody loved him and he loved life,” said Korey. “He loved to laugh, he was just so full of fun, he was so fun to hang out with, and we’re just going to miss him so much.”

Everett was reported missing on Friday afternoon during a family camping trip on Huckleberry Island in Georgian Bay.

“The kids were playing hide and seek,” said Korey. “Everett was playing with some of his younger cousins and the game kind of petered out and he wandered off.”

When they couldn’t find him, Ontario Provincial Police were called in, and a massive search effort began.

“The search was really overwhelming,” said Korey. “I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved. It was so many people. It was unbelievable. They pulled out all the stops, a helicopter in the sky, people searching through the night.”

On Saturday night, Everett’s body was found.

“The dive team was brought in to search the water and they found him close to those rocks he would avoid,” said Korey. “It seemed like he must have slipped and fell in.”

Police do not suspect any foul play.

Korey says Everett loved camping and was a careful kid, but couldn’t swim. The family is currently waiting for an autopsy report.

“His sister is really feeling it,” said Korey. “They were so close. She’s lost her big brother and her best friend, but she’s being so brave and doing the best she can.”

Everett previously attended Cedarbrae Public School in Waterloo.

The Waterloo Region District School Board says it normally offers mental health support for students and staff in these circumstances, but summer break may impact this.


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