PEARLAND, Texas - Hundreds of people attended the candlelight vigil for 9-year-old Marcus McGhee, the boy with autism who went missing Thanksgiving afternoon and was found dead in a pond early Saturday morning.

The news was heartbreaking to the volunteers who desperately searched for the child.

“As a mother, I am heartbroken about it,” said Tonya Parker, who attended the vigil. “It seemed like we searched all day until nightfall and we couldn’t find him.”

According to police, the child and his family are from Connecticut.

They were visiting the boy’s uncle, former Houston Rockets player Marcus Camby. Somehow, the child was able to slip out a back door of the Camby home in Pearland.

A detective found his body floating in a pond just behind the residence on Fite road.

In a Facebook post, the department wrote: "The Pearland Police Department regrets to inform the community that Marcus McGhee has been found. Today's search will be called off. We thank all of you for your efforts. The family is now in need of our prayers. Additional details will be released later."

As word spread, people left stuffed toys, flowers and balloons outside the Camby home.

Members of the community left cards, candles, balloons and flowers outside the family member's home where Marcus was last seen on Thursday.

“I cannot imagine what that family is going through,” said Tracy Liescheski, who helped in the search. “I have three kids of my own, and all I can think about is the mother.”

Those who attended the vigil came together to pray and grieve for a child and a family as if they were their own.

Marcus McGhee