‘Not going to be forgotten;’ Hours after discovery of Ellie Carder’s body, community hosts vigil

TROY — Friends, family, and the Troy community are mourning the loss of 14-year-old Ellie Carder.

>>PHOTOS: Community hosts vigil hours after discovery of Ellie Carder’s body

Carder was last seen on Jan. 31. Since then, the Troy Police Department and the community have been out searching.

On Sunday, March 3, Carder’s body was found in the Great Miami River approximately 2 miles downstream from the E. State Route 41 bridge, according to Troy Police Chief Shawn McKinney.

>>ORIGINAL REPORT: 14-year-old girl missing; Troy police ask public to be on lookout

“Our heart goes out to, her grandmother and all of her friends,” Troy resident Francis Fleenor said.

Hours after the discovery, the community came together to host a vigil in Carder’s honor.

“She’s not going to be forgotten,” Fleenor said. “A lot of people out here didn’t know Ellie, but it’s all about coming together.”

>>RELATED: Kayaker locates body of missing Troy girl Ellie Carder, no signs of trauma found

People like Fleenor and Sarah Jackson have been out searching for Carder since early February.

While police led the investigation, the community rallied together with hopes of bringing Carder home.

“This is what community is. This is a child. I personally, I didn’t know, Ellie, but she’s a child. I have children. I have grandchildren,” Fleenor said.

According to Chief McKinney, a kayaker called Miami County Communication Center dispatchers around 2:19 p.m. and told them they found a body in the river.

This call sparked a larger search Sunday afternoon as police brought in their rafts to search until they ultimately found her.

>>RELATED: Troy Schools to offer counseling for students after discovery of Ellie Carder’s body

“Preliminary investigation done by Troy detectives doesn’t show any immediate signs of trauma to the body or anything like that,” Troy Police Detective Dominic Burnside said.

Police are still investigating the cause of Carder’s death.

“Our hearts and our sympathy goes out to the family of Ellie. We’ve been working very closely with them over these past few weeks,” Burnside said.

Many in the Troy community plan to continue showing their love and support to the Carder family.

>>PHOTOS: Large search underway for missing 14-year-old girl

“Thank you for the community that came together. That was amazing and we are so sorry for her family and friends,” Jackson said.

“There’ll be more to come... We put crosses out tonight. There are different things on the bridge and we will maintain this,” Fleenor said.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy on Carder, and the results are expected to be available within the next eight to 12 weeks.

We will continue to follow this story.

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