DELAWARE COUNTY 13-year-old Cayman Naib was remembered last night by his schoolmaster as "a remarkable person" who brought a smile to others and strove to make sure they felt comfortable.
Steve Piltch, head of school at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, recalled when Cayman "made it a point to invite him to his birthday party to make him feel welcome."
That was Cayman. "He was always reaching out to people," Piltch said in a phone interview last night.
Cayman was found dead yesterday about 2 p.m. after a frantic four-day search, partially snow-covered in the shallow waters of Darby Creek, said a spokeswoman for Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan. The creek was close to his home on Harrison Drive in Newtown Square.
The Naib family - parents Farid and Becky as well as sister Savannah - had posted yesterday afternoon on Facebook that Cayman had been "found deceased" but provided no other details. The post was confirmed by Newtown Township police authorities, who refused to release any other information about the case "out of respect for the family," said a department spokesman. The case is still under investigation, he said.
A publicist hired by the Naib family had met with Newtown Township police officials, and together they came to that agreement, the spokesman added.
Last night, about 200 people attended a vigil for the eighth-grader, a tech-savvy student who volunteered on the computer help desk at the Shipley School.
"He was bright and personable and liked to think out of the box," Piltch said.
Becky Malcolm-Naib and Farid Naib did not attend the spontaneous vigil, Piltch said.
Cayman had left his house about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, hours before the snowstorm, after receiving an email from Shipley, the family wrote on the Facebook page "Find Cayman."
"Cayman left within 30 minutes after he received an email from school regarding over due home work (we do not blame the school) and most probably did not do any pre planning," the post read.
The Naibs posted midafternoon yesterday of the discovery.
"It is with a heavy heart that we share news that the family has just learned through the search and rescue team and local law enforcement that Cayman has been found deceased," the statement read. They thanked authorities, friends, family, various agencies, the community, Shipley and Episcopal Academy, which had become the search-and-rescue center in the effort.
"We would ask at this point that the family be given the privacy and quiet that they need to grieve, heal, and to support their daughter," the post read. The family added that no further comments or public statements would be made to the page.
- Staff writer William Bender contributed to this report.