Funeral Held for Missing Boy Found Dead in NE

"The blessing for us is to have known Michael Kingsbury," said Paul Travis during the service

The family and friends of a 7-year-old boy who was found dead the day after wandering from his home was remembered during a funeral Friday.

Michael Kingsbury, who had autism, disappeared from his family's home July 7.

Thirty-six hours after he disappeared, the boy's body was discovered on the rear seat floor of a car parked on a neighbor's property about 40 yards from the Kingsbury family's home on West Virginia Avenue.

Temperatures had been in the mid-80's for days. Experts say it likely exceeded 120 degrees inside the car.

The car, a Nissan Altima, was not being used, had no license plates, and a broken door lock.

Those who gathered for the funeral say the question still haunts them: How did Michael escape the notice of the many searchers who looked in that car?

By official accounts, at least six searchers -- both civilians and police officers -- had looked in, but not opened, that car, beginning shortly after Michael disappeared.

The medical examiner found no signs of trauma, and couldn't give an approximate time of death, police said, but there was obvious decomposition to the body. Authorities continue to investigate the cause and manner of Michael's death.

On Friday, inside the Bethesda Baptist Church in Northeast D.C., Michael was remembered by those who knew him best, many of them donning ribbons with a puzzle-piece print for autism awareness.

His mother, Katrina, struggled through tears to read a poem. "Do not let your tears fall, because I cannot wipe them all," she read as she cried.

"The blessing for us is to have known Michael Kingsbury," said Michael's uncle, Paul L. Travers, Jr. "...Michael was in this world, but wasn't of this world. Michael didn't see the things we saw. He didn't react to things the way we reacted. He accepted them off of faith and love. He smiled."

A representative from the office of D.C. Councilmember David Grosso also spoke during the service.

"This is a very sad day for the District of Columbia and its citizens," said James Banks, director of special projects for Grosso. "We've lost a life, and not only have we lost a life, we lost a young life, a life that had potential, a life that showed the future, and a life that could have made our city better."

Grosso sent a letter with Banks to Michael's mother that read in part, "May we all cherish his memory and hold onto the wonderful times that you had with him: his smiles, his hugs, and the joy that he gave you."


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