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Grieving family forever grateful to community after death of 5-year-old son

Thursday marks one month since 5-year-old Valerio McFarland fell into the Androscoggin River.

AUBURN (WGME) – Thursday marks one month since 5-year-old Valerio McFarland fell into the Androscoggin River.

Flowers, memorials, and messages still cling to the Bonney Park Bridge above the river that let him go.

For weeks roughly 1,000 volunteers searched for Valerio, a kayaker found his body five miles from where he went in.

The McFarlands say they're forever grateful to the community that cared, and the man who found their little boy.

A small private funeral was held for Valerio this past Sunday.

Family and some volunteers, turned friends, said goodbye.

The McFarlands say the past 30 days have been a blur.

Their 10-year-old son Maxim, who jumped in after Valerio, is now out of the hospital.

The once family of five is now a family of four.

The McFarlands are asking the community to gather for a vigil Thursday night at Bonney Park, beginning at 7, they say they'd like to personally say “thank you” while honoring their son.

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