CONWAY, Wash. – The mother of a two-year-old boy who drowned in the Skagit River six weeks ago is remembering her son.
Starr “Austin” Rogers White disappeared on Nov. 29, while playing on a toy car outside his Conway home. His mother was with him at the time. She says she turned to talk to a neighbor. When she turned back, he was gone.
Austin’s body was found in the river on Dec. 20.
“It’s just a part of me gone,” Jessica White told KOMO Friday. “Very empty. Like a piece of me is missing.”
White says her son was full of energy and joy. She wants the community to see the love Austin gave their family every day.
“He was just the most wonderful boy ever,” she said. “I want to think about the more positive things about my son. The way he laughed and cried. Everything about him. The 2-year-old he was.”
A fence now lines the area where Austin fell into the river. The family’s church had it built for them. White says the community has supported them throughout this tragedy.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $4,000 for the family.
“It means the world,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better community or a better family.”
A funeral for Austin is scheduled for Jan. 19 at the North Cascade Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is open to the public.
White relies on her faith in the toughest moments, finding hope in that helpless place.
“I pray every day,” she said. “We all pray every day. Just to keep us strong, keep us motivated, keep us going. But never forget Austin.”
“Though my son is gone, I will see him again.”