NILES, Mich. — The parents of an 8-year-old Niles boy said they were at a birthday party on Saturday when their son fell in a pool and drowned.
Ayden Smith was standing with his father Adam Smith, celebrating a friend’s birthday on Saturday, when he told his dad he did not want any cake.
“He said I don’t want any cake I said okay baby,” Smith said. “I literally was standing right there and he was next to me and within minutes they were pulling him out of the pool I didn’t even realize he had left my side.”
The Michigan State Police said the drowning is currently an open investigation. Smith said Ayden’s viewing is tentatively set for this Friday.
“We are trying hard to stay strong for each other it is hard we haven’t slept at all,” said Smith.
The community has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral costs.
He described Ayden as a boy who loved his family and baseball. Smith was a player for the Brandywine Cal Ripken 8U Team.
On Sunday, the 10U and 11U Brandywine Cal Ripken team wore Ayden’s team number 23 on their jerseys at a tournament in Goshen. The tournament director, Bob Smith, said he painted Ayden’s initials and number on each field to honor the player.
“Losing a child unless you’ve been through it I don’t think anybody could even realize what that’s like,” said Smith.