A 10-year-old boy was found dead from a gunshot wound in Mason County, West Virginia, on Sunday morning after becoming separated from his grandfather during a hunting trip the day before.

Wyatt Ray Eaves and his grandfather had gone hunting on Saturday, an activity they both enjoyed, according to his mother Adrienne Nibert on Nexstar’s WOWK.

“He loved the outdoors, he loved hunting, fishing, trapping, he loved it all,” Nibert explained. “If you’ve seen him, you’ve probably seen his grandfather.” They were the best of friends.”

According to Nibert, the two became separated sometime on Saturday afternoon after the boy, who was carrying a rifle, went off on his own.

Crews from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, as well as local fire and EMS departments, were called to the scene of an ATV accident in the Salt Creek area of Mason County around 3 p.m. that day. They discovered that the accident victim had been separated from the 10-year-old about an hour before.

Nibert and her family, along with hundreds of volunteers and first responders, searched all night Saturday and Sunday. Around 7 a.m. Sunday, the child’s body was discovered. Officers and medics arrived and discovered the victim had “died due to a single gunshot wound.”

The boy’s death is still being investigated. At this time, the sheriff’s office requests privacy for the child’s family.

Wyatt, a Roosevelt Elementary School student, was smarter, more respectful, and wiser than his years, according to Nibert.

In fact, she stated that her son has wanted to join the military since he was a child.

“He’d always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nibert. “He always said to me, ‘Mom, when I turn eighteen, I’m going to be a Marine.’ Everyone in school adored him. He was extremely polite. He prioritized everyone else.”

An older sister and a younger brother survive the 10-year-old. Nibert said his loss has been difficult for them as well; all they want is to see their brother one more time.

For the time being, the family is doing their best to cope with the tragedy, according to Nibert.

“I just don’t have any other option but to keep going,” Nibert explained. “I believe I’ll feel a lot better when he gets home and can rest.” But I’ll never forget him.”

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