WINNIPEG —; In the past six weeks, three tragic missing person cases have struck a chord with the hearts of Canadians on a deep level.
READ MORE: Autopsy shows Chase Martens death caused by drowning: RCMP
Cooper Nemeth, 17, was missing for more than a week before his body was found on Feb. 20 just minutes from where he was last seen.
Last week, the family of 16-year-old Delaine Copenace received the devastating news that her body was found in Lake of the Woods after days of searching.
Now, it’s the family of two-year-old Chase Martens who is heartbroken and grieving after the toddler’s body was found in a creek less than half a kilometre from his family’s home.
WATCH: Vigil held to honour the life of Chase Martens
They are unbearable losses for each family and they have broken the hearts of the hundreds of people who spent days searching and hoping for a better outcome.
“Every parent’s worst nightmare is to lose one,” said Bear Clan Patrol member Darryl Contois. “I thought about my own and my grandchildren along the way while I was searching.”
Each of these cases ended in tragedy. Tragedy that was felt not only by the families and search teams, but by thousands of Canadians who watched from afar and begged for these children to be found alive.
READ MORE: Timeline of Winnipeg teen Cooper Nemeth’s disappearance
“We are all rooting for them and hoping for them,” said therapist Carolyn Klassen. “The Martens' child becomes our child. We are hoping he's going to found okay and we all get disappointed when we find out it's a tragic ending.”
Manitoba RCMP are asking for help finding missing two-year-old Chase Martens. Courtesy RCMP
Manitoba RCMP are asking for help finding missing two-year-old Chase Martens.
These stories gripped the nation and our hearts. Each time one of these cases ended in tragedy it was felt by everyone.
“There’s a cumulative effect of grief. Three times we got our hopes up…is this child going to be okay,” said Klassen. “We are all looking at the forecast to see how cold it’s going to be and how many hours it’s been. There is this cumulative effect that three times now we have been disappointed…we are vulnerable.”
The stories of all three of these people were widely shared on social media by strangers across the country. People who had no connection to the families but were invested emotionally. It became a sense of community that goes well beyond borders.
WATCH: Support for Nemeth family pours in from around the world
“It exposes the vulnerability of life. That a parent does the very best job they can and that they still can’t guarantee a child’s safety,” said Klassen. It puts us in touch with our own vulnerability and our own fear and realization that there are things in this world that we can’t control.”