YOUNGSVILLE, La (KLFY) – “We believe that Keaton was a gift,” said Youngsville resident, Heather Stough, as she remembers 6-year-old Keaton Lebron Jones, a young autistic boy who wandered off from his home in the Fortune Hills neighborhood on Sunday and was later found Monday morning dead in a pond near his home.
Green ribbons line the streets and a makeshift memorial sits on the playground in the neighborhood.
“It’s kind of a shame that something this human has made us all kind of feel like family and exactly the same, but it truly has,” said Stough.
Stough says after this week’s tragic events, she’s seen the neighborhood pull together in ways she’s never imagined.
“Every single member of our community, I believe, wanted to do something and in some way show love and support to the Jones family, they’re such a loved part of our community,” said Stough.
Which is why Stough was inspired to commemorate little Keaton by wrapping green ribbons around every mailbox in the neighborhood.
“The reason I decided to do the ribbons isn’t because I believe I felt anything different or special than anyone else in our community did,” explained Stough. “I think I was feeling the exact same way that everyone else did and that’s hurt and helpless.”
Keaton wasn’t the only one found in a pond this week, which has residents wondering what can be done to prevent this. These most recent tragedies have raised questions about why retention ponds aren’t fenced in.
“If a developer chooses to do so we certainly would allow them to do such, but right now that’s not a requirement in the city of Youngsville,” explained Youngsville Mayor, Ken Ritter.
Mayor Ritter says whether or not it will become a requirement in the future is unknown.
“We can take a look at a development standpoint, but for our existing neighborhoods I would suggest each homeowner’s association take a look at that,” said Mayor Ritter. “That’s property that they own as common area and they can really do what works best for them.”