Robert Manwill was laid to rest Sunday as white doves wheeled over head and family members wept.
Several hundred people turned out to the funeral at Boise's Cloverdale Funeral Home and Memorial Park; a small percentage of the community members who searched, held vigils and felt connected to the 8-year-old boy who was killed.
"You were a little light in a dark and cruel world and you were taken from us too soon," Charles Manwill wrote in a letter to his son read by a local pastor during Sunday's service. "...These last two weeks have proven that Boise is the city of brotherly love. Our family grown by thousands of people in last two weeks."
Family members, including Robert's siblings, released white doves during the outdoor service. Country music songs — Robert's favorites — also were featured.
Manwill went missing on July 24 from his mother's apartment complex off of Vista Avenue. He was found on Aug. 3 in the New York Canal near Kuna. Thousands in the community helped search for Robert Manwill.
The Ada County Coroner's Office said Robert's death was a homicide, and Boise police officials said the boy was not abducted by a stranger. Police continue an investigation into the child's death.