DETROIT – A 15-year-old boy, who drowned over the weekend in a canal on the city’s east side, was the oldest of 11 grandchildren.
Neighbors and friends are now working to raise money for a service.
Nathaniel Bolin recently turned 15 on June 28.
“He had more people than I thought he did, more love out here than I thought he did,” said his grandmother, Linda Bolin.
The memorial is forming on the tree in front of Nathaniel’s home. The more Bolin sees it grow, the more she misses her first grandchild.
“It’s hurting me really bad. I wake up every day crying, I can’t sleep at night. I come out on the porch, used to him being out here with me,” she said.
Nathaniel was with his cousins Saturday near Maheras-Gentry Park when he hopped in the canal to cook off.
“They could hear him yelling for help and seeing his arm go up in the air and then that was the end of it,” Bolin said.
It took rescuers about 90 minutes to pull Nathaniel from the water that feeds into the Detroit River.
“He was a good swimmer because he used to swim in the lake and he’s never done this. But they were telling me the seaweed got him ... When they found him, he had seaweed all over his body,” she said.
Bolin, who thought it was a joke when she first got the call, didn’t get to the water until her grandson was gone.
“It was something I didn’t want to see, it was terrible” she said.
Neighbors held a fundraiser at a local park and plan another one Friday. The family also has an online fundraiser to raise enough money to get Nathaniel cremated and possible have a service.