The foul floodwaters swept little Montava Trueblood away, snatching him from his mother as New Orleans fell into absolute horror almost one year ago.
Montava slipped off a rooftop in the Lower 9th Ward and into a violent sea of destruction on Aug. 29.
He never got to enter first grade. He never got to celebrate his 7th birthday in December. Instead, he slipped beneath a pile of debris and drowned.
Only days ago, Montava was finally given a proper funeral, as the world prepares to take notice of the one-year anniversary of the worst natural disaster — and arguably the worst engineering failure — in the history of the United States. Preachers comforted the 30 or so mourners inside Littlejohn’s Funeral Home on Aubry Street. On Aug. 15, the boy’s remains were identified by the Orleans Parish coroner’s office through a DNA sample his mother gave mortuary officials a month after the storm, the Trueblood family said.
When the child’s ashes are placed in a plot at Resthaven Cemetery, he will not be alone.
Montava will be laid to rest in October alongside his mother and his baby brother who, after barely escaping the floodwaters, perished in a fire in Milwaukee in December, a few days shy of his mother’s 32nd birthday.
After the rising tide crashed through the levee breach at the Industrial Canal, Byndra Trueblood took her sons out of their flooding house, waded through the dirty water and sought refuge on the roof of a house down the street.
The children clung to their mother. Trueblood would later show her family the scars on her arms and legs left by toddler Davonta, who had clutched her tightly amid the rushing waters.
“They were overtaken by the floodwaters,” Trueblood’s sister, Darleen Trueblood said of the little family. “She said she couldn’t hold both of them and he was swept away.”
The boys’ father died more than a year ago of cancer, relatives said.