CLEVELAND - A 13-year-old disappeared at a popular Lake Erie beach, and days later search crews pulled his body from the water.
Shaud Howell’s family spoke out for the first time only to News 5, wanting to know how this tragedy could ever happen.
Sadness, anger, grief and confusion - are all emotions Renise Bert and her family are dealing with right now. She want to know why Shaud was at Edgewater Park, and how the memory of her nephew will live on.
“This one here is what you were talking about, I love that one, that one is still my favorite,” Bert said Tuesday while looking through photos and reminiscing about her nephew.
“Shaud was complicated but loving," she said. "Shaud was so intelligent."
Bert said she was more like a grandmother to the 13-year-old, who had moved around from home to home.
“Mam-ma, mam-ma, that’s how he’d calls me for everything, he was my shadow at home,” Bert said.
Staying with him for the past year, though his difficult times, she said she never thought his life would be cut so short.
“All I wanted to do was go back when all the hoopla was done and wanted to keep looking," Bert said.
Now, in the midst of her pain, she’s riddled with confusion from both the group home and the county.
“I want to cry, but I’m so angry, I am so angry," she said. “What were you doing that you didn’t see his head go underwater? How do you not call me and tell me that my nephew wasn’t worthy of you calling 911 on time?” Bert said.
Overcome with emotions, she wonders why he was near the water in the first place.
“And I want y’all to know, I’m angry, because she didn’t ask us, and I would’ve told you, Shaud don’t know how to swim,” she said.
Bert just wants answers for her nephew who mattered and was loved
“You don’t treat them like they’re a stinking check, my nephew is human and I’m sitting here and he is not here,” expressed Bert.
Bert said she wasn’t notified about him missing until two hours after the group home was aware of his disappearance, and she still hasn’t seen or heard from the owners of the group home.