COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – On June 26 a 3-year-old boy was found unresponsive inside of a car, after what Muscogee County Coroner, Buddy Bryan, called an accidental heat-related death. Saturday the toddler’s loved ones gathered to remember his short life.

3-year-old, Kendrick Engram Jr. lived a short life, but loved ones say he left his mark on this world.

Rain fell from the sky as friends and family gathered to release balloons in Jr.’s memory and as it started to pour the family said it was all a sign.

“He’s sending down love to us, he’s just dropping down raindrops saying I love y’all, I see y’all, I’m here.”

Mary Russell – Kendrick Engram Jr.’s Aunt

Loved ones gathered in the same place of the heartbreaking discovery to honor the life of the 3-year-old.

“My little nephew, he was full of life. He was fun. He was joyful.”

Mary Russell – Kendrick Engram Jr.’s Aunt

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says it was less than 3 hours that the boy was in the car when the tragedy was realized. Jr. was still strapped into his car seat at the Wendy’s on Wynnton Road according to Bryan. The family says they are relying on faith and one another, to get through the hard time.

“We walk by faith, but not by sight, and we is a very, very close knit family… Please say a prayer for my family. His mama, his grandmama, because they really need to be lifted up in prayer. We all do.”

Mary Russell – Kendrick Engram Jr.’s Aunt

Although his life was taken too soon, his memory will live on.

Tragedies like this one are more common than some may think. According to the national safety council data, 23 children died in hot vehicles last year. Jr.’s death makes the sixth so far in 2022.