WATERFORD, N.Y. -- Anthony Blaauboer was different in the best kind of way.
“I always told him not to talk to strangers but that never stopped him from talking to anybody,” Michelle Blaauboer, Anthony’s mother.
A vigil was held at the Waterford Visitor’s Center Friday night. Nearly 200 community members attended. On the eve of what would’ve been his 15th birthday, there was hardly a dry eye along the Waterford waterfront.
“I didn’t know the impact this boy had. And he was mine,” Jeff Blaauboer, Anthony’s father.
Anthony lived with autism. His parents Jeff and Michelle say his kindness, humor, and sense of adventure set him apart.
Thursday Anthony’s body was recovered from the Mohawk River. Anthony was believed to be on a “treasure hunt” at the time he went missing.
“He moves from one adventure to the other. His mind never stopped thinking about things to do,” said his mother Michelle.
Friends and family say he set the example for how to live. He had a personality so bright, it continues to shine and lift spirits.
“He’s my buddy and I’m going to miss my boy,” said his father Jeff.
There was no update on the investigation into his death Friday.
Police say they are waiting on the result of an autopsy to determine what caused his death. Police say they are not ruling anything out at this time.
The school district says it will have counselors available Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Visitor's Center. Counselors will also be on staff Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the school.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Blaauboer's family. So far, more than $13,000 have been raised to help pay for the funeral expenses.
In a Facebook post Friday morning, Blaauboer's mother thanked the police and volunteers that took part in the search for her son. She also asked the community to keep her family in their prayers.
"Our son was found and he is now with our Father in heaven," wrote Michelle Alfiler Blaauboer. "It was not the result that we were hoping for but it is better than not knowing where he was."
Divers found Blaauboer's body Thursday afternoon after he went missing on Wednesday. Police say he was recovered about 100 feet from where his clothes were found.
The investigation remains ongoing.