Student-led prayer service held for Albertville High student who drowned this week

Northeast Alabama
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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- An Albertville High School student is remembered as his friends and peers came together for a prayer service in his memory.

The front lawn of Albertville High School was quiet Thursday morning. Thoughts and memories were kept close inside. Friends and family held each other closer.

Seventeen-year-old Albertville High Student Emmanuel Villalobos drowned earlier this week at the Double Bridges Red Mill area. Crews searched for hours, spanning two days, until they found the teen's body in the water not far from where he went missing.

Thursday morning before school, his friends and peers organized a moment to pray for their friend. "I was his kindergarten teacher years ago," says Albertville High School Media Specialist Kassie Millwood, "When he came to kindergarten, he spoke very limited English. He was real quiet, real shy, but he was a sweet kid."

Millwood says she has a picture of that class on her desk. "I keep everything, so last night I went through some of his work, and pictures from kindergarten, and I gave it to his parents today."

As students prayed and remembered their friend, Emmanuel's family was at the center."The students organized all of this this morning. They put together every single detail of today and I think it was a beautiful tribute to Emmanuel," says Albertville High School Principal Deidra Tidwell, "I'm glad his family could be here, and I think it made it more special for the students and the family."

Just the sheer amount of students who took the time to come, shows how much the teen will be missed.

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