Father of 14-year-old drowning victim cannot afford to see son's body

Family of teen who drowned at Jax Beach speaks out

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Friends and family are mourning the sudden loss of 14-year-old Javier Cano.

The boy, who went by Darbin Cano, drowned at Jacksonville Beach while swimming with family over the weekend.

Colleen Jones, who was there that day and has since been helping the family, said Cano's dad doesn't even have the money to see his son. Jones said Cano's family first needs to pay to send the boy to a funeral home and provide the medical examiner's office with the paperwork.

"The father is just absolutely devastated. He just wants to see his son and they're doing everything they can to make that happen," Jones said.

Jones will never forget Sunday, when she heard a scream and saw Cano waving from the ocean.  That would be the last anyone would see Cano alive.

"It was very very difficult to see how painful it was for the dad," Jones said.

Jones is currently helping Cano's extended family in Jacksonville of close to a dozen work through the red tape of bringing the boy back to his home in Guatemala, where the boy's mother and three other siblings live.

Jones said Cano and his dad have only been in Jacksonville 10 weeks. They were in the U.S. with hopes for a better life. The family tells her the boy was the oldest child. He was full of life, with a strong faith.

"This family is hurting. They're hurting emotionally, they're hurting financially, and the least that we thought we could do is to raise the funds to provide the peace and comfort that this family deserves and needs," Jones said.

Jones' daughter, Mikaela, started a GoFundMe page Monday, to raise money for funeral costs, not only to send Cano back to home, but for the boy's father to just be able to see his son.

"Loving your neighbor is what this is all about because we're strangers and now they are people that people are really caring for and loving for," Jones said.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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