CDA Tribal community honors children who drowned in pond



Posted on February 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 1:14 AM

WORLEY, Idaho -- The deaths of two young children in Plummer, Idaho has left a community in mourning. The community gathered Thursday to honor the children at their funeral.

On Sunday, Jose Reyes, 9, and Elena Maravilla, 5, were looking for their puppy when they fell through the ice on a neighborhood pond. Authorities said they were found by their grandmother who called 911 and pulled them out of the water.  The grandmother, identified by neighbors as Rose Gonzalez, was treated at the hospital for hypothermia but has since been released.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribal school canceled classes Thursday so classmates of Jose and Elena could attend.

“It’s just a very difficult time. So everybody is in prayer. Everybody needs support, everybody needs hugs and love,” said Marcy Morris, who attended the funeral.

READ: Two children dies after falling in icy pond in Plummer

The community gathered at Longhouse in Worley, Idaho Thursday to pay their final respects for the children. The children were well known in the community and their grandmother looked after them.

“I’d see him come in, little Jose come into the casino with his grandma. And it was always good to see him because I’ve known him since he was a little boy. Words can’t describe the sadness,” said Morris.

After the mass at Longhouse, the children were buried at De Smet Cemetery.

READ: CDA Tribal School cancels class to honor students who died

This was the second funeral in community within the last few weeks. The tribe buried an elder husband and wife who died not far apart.

“It’s very heartbreaking and it’s a tragedy for the Coeur d’Alene tribe and the community. When we lose two young people. Last week, we lost two elders. So the elders and the children are the most important for the Coeur d’Alene tribe,” said Ruth Sorimpt.