CARRBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — The Carrboro High School community came together Thursday night to remember 15-year-old Roberto Deleto.
Deleto’s body was recovered at Jordan Lake late Thursday morning after he disappeared on a watercraft that broke down Tuesday night.
The school hosted a vigil for students, staff and Deleto’s family. People lined up to write messages, some people told stories about him and the group lit candles in his honor.
Savi Deleto remembers his younger brother as always smiling, and said he was a happy soul with a big heart.
“I know he’s up in the heavens right now, and I know that he’s looking down on us smiling,” Savi Deleto said. “I know he’s happy and I know he’s just grateful that everybody’s out here.”
Savi Deleto said he always tried to be a father figure and a role model for his younger brother.
“I always try to protect him the best I could and this one just hits hard because I just couldn’t be there for him this time,” Deleto said.
Carrboro High School Principal Dr. Beverly Rudolph was at Jordan Lake Thursday when Deleto’s body was recovered.
“It’s been a day you never want to experience in your life,” Rudolph said. “I’ve been really fortunate as a principal that I’ve never lost a student during the school year and it’s been devastating for us and our community.”
She’s known the family since Savi Deleto was in middle school. She said Roberto Deleto was friendly to everyone at school.
“He liked to present as tough, but he was just a sweetheart and he would do anything for you, very loyal,” she said.
She said he also loved food. She bought him McDonald’s on Tuesday as a reward for something he did.
He was also on the football team, coached by Ken Lathan.
“There’s nothing in the playbook for this,” Lathan said.
Lathan said the teen was eager to learn and become the best, and would do anything he could to make the team better.
“Man, I’m telling you, losing him– we’re losing a– there’s a piece of this school that’s just not gonna be the same because he had an attitude, he had an aura about himself that just lit the school up,” Deleto said.
In the letter Rudolph sent out to families she reminds students and staff that there are counselors at school for them to talk to.