With the setting sun in the background, colorful balloons and prayers rose into the sky on St. Pete Beach Thursday, October 8 as community members rallied around the family of a 9-year-old boy who drowned when a riptide dragged him away from the shore.
More than 100 relatives, friends and well-wishers gathered on the sands at the 18th Avenue beach access to support Krystal Naar, whose son Cameron Bullard disappeared from the same spot October 3.
Cameron was playing with other children in ankle-deep water when he was knocked down by a wave and pulled out to sea despite an on-looker’s efforts to rescue him. His body was found by divers the morning of October 5 on Shell Key. Cameron, one of seven children, was a fourth-grade student at Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School in St. Pete Beach.
As darkness fell Thursday, candles were lit and community members gathered in a circle around Naar and her family. Several ministers offered prayers for Cameron and thanked everyone for their support.
When it was her turn to speak, Naar’s voice barely rose above a whisper.
“The love is really amazing,” she said.
Everyone stood by the water as more than a dozen balloons were released into the air to celebrate Cameron’s spirit.