Brandon Crisp Vigil

kareen-awadalla1By Kareen Awadalla 

A fall from a tree, concluded coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer, is what likely killed Brandon Crisp.  The hopeful search for the fifteen year old ended on November 5,2008  when hunters came across a young lifeless body matching Crisp’s description in a wooded area in Oro-Medonte Township, just north of his Barrie home. The post mortem examination took place on Friday November 7 in Toronto, and confirmed the boy’s identity thus ending a 3 week long search for the teenager who ran away from home on Thanksgiving Day after his parents confiscated his Xbox.  The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was due to injuries in the chest, consistent with injuries caused from falling off a tree.

Brandon’s father, Steve Crisp admitted that he helped his son pack his backpack hoping to call his bluff, expecting he would return home a few hours later with his tail between his legs. But a grim reality that lay ahead, as an area wide hunt for the boy—far from what Steve expected, generated global media coverage, and desperate pleas for information.

Prior to the discovery of Brandon’s body, Steve and Angelika Crisp held on to the belief that their son’s fixation with the online video game “Call of Duty 4” may have led him to meet with someone whom he had encountered online. But their prayers of finding Brandon alive were crushed upon learning of the accidental discovery, and until now have yet to release a statement to the public.

The Crisp family was scheduled to appear at a press conference on November 12 to address the community and thank everyone who helped in the search for Brandon. The press conference has recently been cancelled however, and Steve and Angelika Crisp will instead be issuing a written statement to the public, still scheduled for release on November 12. 

“The family is grieving and find it too difficult to speak out yet,” said Sergeant Dave Goodbrand.

Sergeant Goodbrand of the Barrie Police has been on this missing person’s case since Brandon went missing on October 13 and said he, like everyone else, really hoped for a better ending. However, police continue to assure the public that no foul play is suspected.

Dental records were used to confirm the identity of the body, but remaining autopsy reports that would shed light on the timeline and circumstance of Brandon’s death are still under investigation.

“Right now we are working with the OPP who have taken this case under their jurisdiction and we are trying to find out what led Brandon there,” said Goodbrand.

Last night a candlelight vigil was held in Barrie where many members of the community, including Brandon’s eldest sister Natasha and grandmother Jeanette Garratt, gathered outside to remember him.

“Obviously, it’s very hard. None of us is sleeping very well but we’re keeping together … and holding each other together,” Garratt told City News.

17 year old Natasha Crisp was the first of her family to speak publicly since her brother’s death, paying homage to him around a crowd of people lending their support. Holding a candle close to her heart and mournfully crying for her brother, many tried to comfort her.

“I’m just so proud of him and amazed by him, that he’s been able to touch so many people’s lives and he was only alive for 15 years,” Natasha said choking back tears.

A public funeral will be held at St. Mary’s Church on Amelia St. in Barrie on Friday November 14 at 10 a.m. The family has asked that the media and the public respect their privacy as they grieve for Brandon.