DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Throughout the day Wednesday, some of the strangers who hurried to volunteer to help police in the search for 2-year-old Sarbesh Gurung returned to the neighborhood to share in the grieving family’s sorrow.
“I just wanted to bring a little stuffed animal,” says Caroline Hallman. “They have a festival in Nepal for dogs.”
Hallman, a UNT student, rode her bicycle to the area to drop off a stuffed animal and a card to remind the toddler’s parents that here, even strangers care.
“They’re newcomers here, too,” says Hallman. “It’s pretty universal to care about children… and I’m thinking about them.”
It was the kind of compassion that took center stage on Tuesday as Hallman joined upwards of 200 volunteers who quickly gathered to get direction from police, hoping desperately to bring Sarbesh safely home.
“I’m a mother and I’m a grandmother,” said Jeannette Fudge on Wednesday. She says she was shaken to learn that the child died just steps from home.
“Oh my God,” breathed Fudge. “I got in tears when my daughter called me at work. I feel for them. I really do. It’s devastating.”
Jimmy Hoxha manages an apartment building near where the family lives and says he didn’t hesitate when word spread of the crisis.
“We went to the bushes over there, we check over there… we went inside the boiler room, nothing,” recalls Hoxha, gesturing across the area. “We search everywhere, basically.”
Now, with the search ended, he says he also shares in the community’s sadness.
“I’m sorry what happened to them,” says Hoxha. “I feel very, very sorry for their loss.”
“It shows that Denton can come together,” says Fudge. “We are a family. It hits home. We can all come together and work together as a team.”