Family grieves 17-year-old Adalya Dorvil, a 'kind soul,' after body recovered in water

Adalya Dorvil and her mother (Photo: GoFundMe)

Those who knew 17-year-old Adalya Dorvil and her family are mourning the girl on Wednesday, a day after her body was found along the LaSalle shoreline after a series of events that police are still investigating.

"Adalya was a kind soul, a bright shining light and someone who lit up any room she was in," wrote family friend Dwayne Buckley in a GoFundMe he created for the girl's family to help with funeral costs.

"In her short time here she has left a mark on all of us. No mother should ever have to experience this type of loss and as a community we would like to stand together in solidarity with the family."

Social media on Wednesday was full of messages of love for the girl's family, which includes her mother, father, aunt and several other relatives.

Buckley described a tight-knit family and community, saying that not only was Dorvil's mother "a loving and doting mother to Adalya, there is a strong chance she's cared for you or one of your children in some form with that motherly touch and uncanny ability to make you feel loved and valued."

Few questions about the girl's death have been answered definitively. She died sometime in the 24 hours after finishing school for the morning on Monday, according to her mother's original plea for help after she went missing.

"My heart is in pieces, we need to find my baby," she said.

It took first responders about two and a half hours the next day to recover the girl's body, which was in the river at the bottom of a small cliff, said a spokesperson for Urgences-Santé.

The first call came in at 12:38 Tuesday, said Jean-Benoit Gince, a supervisor at Urgences-Santé. A responder arrived seven minutes later, and a medic was there by 12:48, he said.

The problem was how difficult it was to reach the girl, and the fact that it was very hard even to see her.

In that area, along LaSalle Blvd. near the end of Orchard Ave., there's a sidewalk and a smaller footpath that are directly at the top of a densely wooded escarpment that goes straight into the water, with the trees overhanging the water at the bottom.

When they did reach Dorvil, it was clear that "it was too late," Gince said, and likely had been all along. She'd been completely submerged after apparently falling from the top of the 10-foot cliff.

Her body was ultimately recovered around 3 p.m., Gince said. A team of specialists from Urgences-Santé helped with the operation, as well as specialist firefighters.

It was equally difficult to tell, from how the girl's body was found, what had happened, Gince said, aside from the fact that she had injuries to her head or upper body after apparently falling down the cliff.

Dorvil was reported missing to media not long before, earlier on Tuesday, and police first asked the public to help look for her.

In a Facebook post her mother wrote before that, she said her daughter had last been seen at school at noon on Monday.

Montreal police said Tuesday evening that signs pointed to the death being accidental, but Gince said police are still investigating.

"It's hard for us to tell you exactly what is the cause of the death," he said, based on how the body was found. 

Montreal police haven't yet responded to a request for an update on their investigation.

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