Vigil and Balloon Release Held For 2 Year-Old Who Drowned in Fort Lauderdale

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A prayer vigil and balloon release was held for 2 year-old Cormel Willie Bullock, who drowned in a Fort Lauderdale river this week. His mother wept in front of a small but intimate crowd of loved ones at the academy Cormell attended. 

“I just thank y’all for just knowing that just seeing his smile and that smile on his face lit all your hearts. That may have changed every single one of y’all,” Deana’e Titus, Cormel’s mother said.

“I need you to give me strength, all of y’all, to give me and my family strength. I thank you all so much for doing this,” Titus said.

Surveillance video shows the moment before Cormel slipped in the water at Cooley’s Landing Marina. An hour later his body was recovered under the Seventh Avenue bridge.

His grandmother was watching him at the time.

The owner of Master Minds Academy, where Cormel attended, says news of his death hit staff and students hard.

“I tell people none of us are immune to unfortunate tragic accidents. I have children myself. It could have been any of us," Tracy McFadden, the owner of the academy said. "I think what’s important right now is rallying around the mom and showing her support.”

Support that gives Cormel’s family the strength to get through this dark time. 

“I know my family got him. I know my grandma, I know you got him. I know you got him and I promise baby we’re gonna make you proud. Tell Grandma and Grandpa to watch over you and don’t be afraid of god,” Cormel’s mother said.

For a moment when a balloon got stuck in a tree, someone commented that only means Cormell never really left.

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