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News

Candlelight Vigil For Missing 11-year-old Aiden Blanchard To Be Held Wednesday

Aiden Blanchard
Aiden Blanchard Photo Credit: Chicopee PD

A candlelight vigil has been planned for Wednesday, Feb. 17, in honor of Aiden Blanchard, an 11-year-old boy who has been missing since Feb. 5.

Organized by Dan Leatherwood, the vigil will begin at 4 p.m. on Medina Street near the boat ramp in Chicopee - one of the last places associated with Aiden. The vigil will end around 6 p.m.

Leatherwood said he has coordinated the event with Michelle Blanchard.

“The candlelight vigil is a solemn time for us to come together as a community and share our hope in Aiden’s safe return home,” Leatherwood said on the Facebook event.

People who plan to attend are being asked to wear something red or green or both as these are Aiden’s favorite colors. Leatherwood said he would have candles for participants. Any children in attendance must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Although the boat ramp is a place that has been/is being searched for signs of Aiden, vigil organizers are asking people not to search for the boy there during the community gathering.

“That will distract us from the true meaning of the vigil,” Leatherwood said.

To stay safe during COVID-19, people who attend the vigil are asked to wear face masks and social distance as much as possible.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 16, around 340 people had said they were planning to attend the vigil.

Aiden Blanchard, 11, went missing on Feb. 5 around 11:30 a.m. Aiden was last seen in the Willamansett area of Chicopee, near Old Field Road, and heading toward the Medina Street boat launch along the Connecticut River, police said.

Chicopee Police and the Massachusetts State Pollice are seeking to speak with anyone who was walking behind the area of 22 News Broadcast Center on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, from the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., to contact investigators.

People in that area and around that time are asked to contact Chicopee Police Detective Bureau at (413) 594-1740.

Anyone who has information that may help locate Aiden, or who believes they may have seen him, should immediately call 911, Chicopee Police at (413) 594-1639, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

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