DENVER (CBS4) – Jordan Vong had a smile that could light up any room.
“He smiled all the time,” Rachel Payne, principal of Greenwood Academy in Denver, said. “What we will miss most about Jordan is his smile.”
Just 7 years old, Jordan touched the lives of many people in his Montbello community. When his life was tragically cut short, classmates, teachers, neighbors and friends came together Wednesday evening for a vigil to honor the sweet boy they knew.
“Jordan’s smile brought me joy. Seeing him happy, made me happy,” Desirea Chamberlin, Jordan’s 1st grade teacher at Greenwood Elementary, said tearfully. “His little giggle was contagious… he was sweet. He would pick me dandelions.”
Among the few hundred people to gather for the vigil was AJ Jimenez, Jordan’s next door neighbor.
“I was going to bring a teddy bear, but instead I put the teddy bear outside his house,” Jimenez told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
Jimenez helped search for his young neighbor when he was reported missing Monday afternoon. He was hopeful for a better outcome and is saddened by the little boy’s death.
“It’s a devastating thing to deal with, and I am really choked up right now, but it’s really important for us to be here because it’s a lot of pain,” he said.
Jordan’s mother and other relatives attended the vigil. His mom spoke briefly through tears, expressing gratitude for those who helped look for her son.
“He’s in a better place,” she said.
It is Jimenez’s hope that other families will learn from this community’s heartbreak and always take time to treasure their loved ones.
“Hug their child,” he said. “Just be thankful that they’re still with their kids.”
Jordan’s aunt has created a GoFundMe Page for a memorial service.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.