4-Year-Old Boy's Body Recovered from Lake Erie After He Walked Away from Family Home
07/26/2015 AT 11:20 AM EDT
Sidney Heidrick's body was found in Sheffield Lake after an intense search involving local, state and federal authorities, including the Coast Guard and the FBI, as well as hundreds of volunteers, officials said in a press conference Saturday.
Sidney died of an apparent drowning, Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans says.
His body was found near the coastline, not very far into the water, Evans says. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday and will help officials determine for how long he was in the water.
Sidney was last seen at about 4:30 p.m. Friday, according to WKYC. His body was found just a quarter of a mile from his grandparents' home, according to Cleveland.com.
"Sidney is a very loving, kind, energetic little boy. He's very happy. He loves people," his former daycare teacher Donna Sopko told the site. "There was probably an open door and he just went with it."
Mayor Dennis Bring choked up while announcing the search's tragic end at the Saturday news conference.
"Unfortunately it didn't work out. When you have a young child, in this case, pass away, it's very disheartening," he said.
Evans echoed that. He tells PEOPLE, Sidney's death is "a tragedy. The family is devastated."
In a statement Saturday, before Sidney's body was recovered, his family said, "[We] would like to thank everyone for their efforts in trying to find Sidney. We are overwhelmed with the amount of support," according to WKYC.
His family declined requests to speak to local media Saturday, according to Cleveland.com, and PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach them for comment.
A GoFundMe set up for the family has raised more than $13,000 so far.