WYOMING, Mich. -- A family is in mourning after a young Marine from Kent County died while home on leave for the holidays.
LCpl. Boyd Cain III was a combat engineer in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in California . His request to come home for the holidays was initially denied, but approved at the last minute and he was home in time for Christmas.
His family found him unconscious in the early hours of New Year's Day. The family still doesn't have many answers, but they're remembering the 21-year-old his family calls their Superman.
"He spent most of his time with his family," said his father. "Boyd really enjoyed spending time with family, whether it was his brothers and sisters, we did do a little bit of hunting, and just hanging out with his grandparents.”
"I looked up to him," said Christian Cain, Boyd's younger brother. "He was a great role model. He was just the best person I knew. He taught me how to tie my shoes. He was my mentor. He’s just my hero.”
Boyd was with family in Wyoming on New Year’s Eve. They say they found him unconscious on the couch around 2:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
"They found him asleep on the couch, and they thought he was asleep, but he had already passed away," said Boyd Cain Jr., Boyd's father. "His cousin and one of his good friends performed CPR on him for a while until EMS got there and took over and brought him to the hospital.”
Doctors don’t know what happened, but they think it was something with Boyd's heart, even though he had no known medical issues. His family says he passed all of his military health exams.
"I never expected it," said Cain Jr. "Especially that young, 21 years old. You can’t imagine it, you can’t imagine losing a son at such an early age.”
Boyd’s younger brother Bryan wants to follow in his footsteps in his memory.
“I would like to join the service just to honor him and make myself a better person," said Bryan.
Boyd's family says they were thankful to create some lasting memories with him one last time. They’ll say goodbye on Friday.
"He looked like Superman, and down here he was my hero, Superman, and up there, up in heaven, I know that he’s Superman up there," said Christian Cain. "He’s a soldier down here, and he’s a soldier up there, and I know that he’s our guardian angel.”
Eight members of Boyd’s unit flew to West Michigan on Wednesday from Camp Pendleton for his funeral, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Resurrection Life Church at 5100 Ivanrest SW in Grandville.
He will be buried with full military honors at the Rosedale Memorial Park Cemetery in Grand Rapids, located at 50 Lake Michigan Drive. His father says anyone is welcome to attend any pay their respects.