Manitoba

'Keep your kids close': Winnipeg parents give tearful plea after son drowns

The parents of a nine-year-old boy who drowned over the weekend have a desperate plea to other parents as they prepare to say goodbye to their beloved son one last time.

Kyree Bruneau, 9, drowned over the weekend in Rushing River Provincial Park

Kyree Bruneau, 9, is being remembered as a little star who loved the camera. He drowned over the weekend. (Submitted)

The parents of a nine-year-old boy who drowned over the weekend have a desperate plea to other parents as they prepare to say goodbye to their beloved son one last time.

"Just keep your kids a little closer and love them up a little more because shit could change in a minute," said Trevor Thomas.
Kyree Bruneau-Thomas drowned in Rushing River Provincial Park over the weekend. (Submitted)

His son Kyree Bruneau-Thomas drowned in Rushing River Provincial Park over the weekend. An extensive search for the boy ended in tragedy when his body was found around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Thomas and the boy's mom Justine Bruneau hope by sharing their story, parents will keep a closer eye on their children. Kyree is being remembered as a little star filled with jokes who loved the camera and his parents.

"He loved attention, he liked the camera, he liked to be out there," Thomas said.

"It didn't matter if you go to a park or school or whatever people were drawn to him and he was just loving."

Thomas said Kyree disappeared while he was cooking burgers for him and his brothers at the boys' campsite.

Dinner was supposed to be ready in about 10 minutes, but Kyree never turned up to eat. Five hours went by "and then I got the news and that's it," said Thomas adding his son's body was found in a little slip spot by the water.

'He was going to be something special'

Thomas said he, Kyree and two of the little boy's brothers went for a plane and boat ride on the weekend — something Kyree was raving about.

The little boy said it was the best weekend ever in a video taken on an iPad. His parents are now hanging onto that video as one of the last memories they have of their son.
Trevor Thomas is reeling after the loss of his son over the weekend on a boys' trip to Rushing River Provincial Park. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

"He was going to be something special," said Thomas.

"Very loving on the inside," added Bruneau, who recalled the many hugs and kisses her son had for her and his dad.

Bruneau said if there's one thing she wants the public to know, it's to never forget to give their kids a kiss and and hug in the morning.

"Keep your kids close. I've been telling people that every day," she said.

with files from Erin Brohman

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