OBERLIN (KPLC) - It's been a hard past few days for the Neil family after losing their 12-year-old son, Garrick Neil, Jr. to the current of the Calcasieu River near Oberlin.
"I gave it my all, we played it safe as all could be all day long I made sure of it," said Lonnie Schexnider, the boyfriend of Neil's mother.
On Sunday, the family took their five children to the river to enjoy a picnic, but tragedy struck when Schexnider said he attempted to cross along a narrow stretch of the river with Garrick but Mother Nature was too strong.
"He lost grip to my neck or he thought he was close enough to let go and touch and the current just took him away from me and I couldn't do nothing," he said.
Neil said she can't say thank you enough for the outpouring support from the community and the work done by law enforcement.
"I can't even express because I don't know where I would be right now without these people here supporting me because I know I wouldn't be no good," she said.
Garrick's sister, Garrylnn Neil remembers her brother and said, "He was the kindest boy that anyone could ever meet and he always made everyone smile. He played all sports that he could and he did well."
Garrick's mother shares this message dedicated to her son.
"He knows momma loved him, I loved him," she said. "I love my baby. I am so proud of you, son. I'm so proud of everything that you accomplished in your short 12 years and it was such a pleasure and honor to be your mother for these 12 years. I didn't expect for it to be this short of a time but God knows what's meant."
Garrick's mother also wanted to remind parents about the importance of safety when it comes to children playing in bodies of water.
No funeral arrangements have been made at this time. A memorial will be held and open to the public at the family's home in Gueydan in the following days.
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