Editorial March 18 2017

Judy Faulkner spoke for the Illawarra when she wrote her comment on Ryan Teasdale’s tribute wall on Friday.

The only difference was Judy was writing her comment from Western Australia.

“I have never cried so much for someone else's child.

“I was crying at work, but I didn't care who saw, I just told people why.

“My own 12-year-old son looks similar to Ryan, a beautiful, sweet-natured boy.

“I am sending my sincerest sympathies to Ryan's family.

“You have people sending you all much love from Western Australia. xx”

It seemed as though the entire Illawarra carried a heavy heart on Friday.

When 11-year-old Unanderra boy Ryan Teasdale went missing down a stormwater drain on Thursday everyone held out hope. 

Surely there might be some miracle which might result in Ryan being found safe and well.

When a clearly emotional Lake Illawarra Command Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan delivered the words hearts across the Illawarra broke.

"It's with great sadness that I can tell you that we have located the body of the young boy in the creek bed at the end of a stormwater drain," Superintendent Zoran Dzevlan told reporters.

The news was devastating to hear.

It’s a tragedy from which the region will take some time to recover, let alone Ryan’s family, friends and school.

High praise must go out to the many emergency service personnel who braved the conditions in the search for Ryan.

Many of those a hardened professionals who deal with death on a daily basis, but it was clear the passing of one so young and one taken so tragically while out enjoying life had an enormous impact.

Friday was a tough day for all.

It was not a day for looking for someone to blame or trying to pin-point who was at fault.

It was a day for grief and sadness.

We will move on and those other questions will get answered, but for now we remember a little boy lost.

To Ryan’s family, friends and school community we all send our deepest sympathy.

This region has a strong history of rallying around those who need help and this time will be no different.

We are deeply sorry for your loss and hope only that time heals. RIP Ryan.