CINCINNATI -- The parents of Kyle Plush are remembering him as a boy who "lit up a room with his larger than life, funny, smart and positive personality with inclusion of all."
Plush, 16, was killed when he became trapped inside a minivan near Seven Hills School on April 10.
Friends and family gathered Sunday to mourn Kyle and comfort each other at visitation at T.P. White & Sons Funeral Home. His funeral service began at 9:30 a.m. Monday at St. Rose Church.
"His friends know him as a leader with incredible potential that kept them laughing with his wit and innovative mind," Ron and Jill Plush said in a written statement Friday. "He is unforgettable and we, as a family, will make sure he is never forgotten."
The coroner found that Kyle died from asphyxia caused by chest compression, but officials haven't said what pressed into him hard enough to cause him to suffocate. And questions remain about why first responders were unable to find Kyle after he called 911 twice asking for help. A family member found him dead more than five hours later.
At Mercy Montessori School, Kyle's former teachers, classmates and others remembered him at a Thursday night prayer service.
"Kyle's gentle spirit made it a joy for others to be around him," principal Patty Normille said in a statement earlier that afternoon. "We lovingly remember Kyle as creative, vibrant, and kind. Tonight we celebrate Kyle who was a truly remarkable child."
The family's full statement is below:
We would like to share a few words about our remarkable son. Kyle embraced life with a passion far beyond his years. We thank God for sharing him with us for over 16 years but we so desperately wish he was here today. We have had many requests from members of the media to talk about what happened to Kyle and what may happen next. We respect the media's need for information and we thank them for continuing to ask questions about what happened to Kyle, as we also have questions and want answers. Right now, every ounce of our family's energy is focused on getting through the next few days as we say goodbye to our son who brought joy to so many and who will never be forgotten by all those who loved him.
Anyone who ever encountered Kyle knows he lit up a room with his larger than life, funny, smart and positive personality with inclusion of all. His friends know him as a leader with incredible potential that kept them laughing with his wit and innovative mind. He is unforgettable and we, as a family, will make sure he is never forgotten. We ask that the media respect our privacy over the next few days as we say goodbye to our son. In the near future we will have more to say and will share our plans soon, but right now we must come together as a family and help one another get through this. Finally, to those who have reached out with compassion and caring over the loss of Kyle - we cannot thank you enough and wanted to share a few of our favorite photos. Your kindness will help us survive the terrible days ahead.