By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine (CBS) — The couple that first found Camden Pierce Hughes dead alongside a road in South Berwick, Maine is now opening up.

Manley and Linda Gove spoke for first time at a prayer service Wednesday evening at the First Parish Federated Church in South Berwick.

“Saturday evening my wife and I started down a journey, however much it hurts, we’re glad the Lord gave us the opportunity to be involved in Camden’s life,” said Manley Gove.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

“When I heard my wife screaming ‘no, no’, I said that boy will never be unwanted again. My son told my wife had we only known we would have taken him, and we would have taken him, just like everyone here would have taken him. We weren’t given that choice.”

Their words moved the congregation to tears.

Wednesday night was the second night the town held a vigil, but it was different than the first because it now had a name of the boy to which they could pray.

“He was brought here for some reason.  We felt we had to take care of him and take care of people here who are grieving,” said resident Judy Connelly, who made a wreath out of grapevine that became a focal point of the service at First Parish Federated Church. 

The Goves want to give Camden a proper burial in the town if the boy’s own family does not claim him.

“Even though not bone of my bone or flesh of my flesh, it feels like he is. We will accept him if they don’t accept him,” said Manley Gove.

“Maybe his life ended in such a tragic way, but you can see he is loved,” said Linda Gove. 

The family says a neighbor has already donated a burial site, and a local funeral service is willing to donate its services.  Already their once-deserted road has become a magnet for people to stop and remember at a make-shift memorial growing each day. 

“I feel better but not relieved,” said Liz Johnson about finally knowing Camden Hughes’ name. 

“It’s so troubling that someone would leave their child.”

Related Stories:

Boy In Maine Mystery Identified As Camden Pierce Hughes
Who Is Julianne McCrery
Family, Maine Residents Express Sorrow Over Mystery Boy’s Death

Comments (20)
  1. Deb H. says:

    That is so sweet of The Gove’s. My heart goes out to them. This person that has profound issues tragically took her son’s life and altered many people’s. My hope is people that have been touched by this will walk away better people. The many people that opened their hearts and spread the info to find Camden’s identity will take that second look and make that call or extend their hand quicker to help others. That is the best we can all do to do right by this little boy and all the sweet dear children that need an adult to advocate for their rights and safety. God Bless Camden and The Gove’s….

    1. Marcia says:

      The Gove’s are a very compassionate family. They have had many tragedy’s in their lives and still have deep faith….God put them there 5-14-11 to find Camden…Our community of South Berwick has embraced them and will forever be grateful for their love!

      1. judi connelly says:


  2. ralahinn1 says:

    I am glad that they found the child and alerted the police so quickly. Now this little boy can be laid to rest with a proper burial and not remain lost in the woods

  3. Michelle Fuller Fitzgerald says:

    These beautiful people should have been the ones to be blessed with Camden. My heart is breaking for all of them.

  4. Skip Stutler says:

    the trouble is ..they didnt act quickly…they knew hours early that something was wrong…they could have saved him…sorry but the truth is the truth..had they only only not waited 10 hours

    1. pinkstars says:

      He was already gone when they found him. How dare you say this.

      1. Kristi Deming says:

        Um, I think you are misreading comments. No one said they did anything to Camden. They only found him. His mother was the one who murdered him and dumped him on the side of the road.

      2. Renee says:

        Was there a previous post, that has now been removed, that accused the Goves of something? We are confused…

      3. Jim72 says:

        The authorities said he had passed a couple of hours before he was found, not that he had passed 12 hours before he was found. It is possible he could have been alive when he was left there. However, we will not know that unless the autopsy results says so. Either way, the Gove’s are not to blame. A truck was seen in the area, not a person dropping off someone by the side of the road.

  5. LORI says:

    HOW dare you point fingers at the Gove’s. Reports state that Camden had passed away two hours (5:00am) prior to the first sighting for the truck…..

    1. Kristi Deming says:

      Um, I think you are misreading comments. No one said they did anything to Camden. They only found him. His mother was the one who murdered him and dumped him on the side of the road.

  6. Donna Dell says:

    God bless Linda, Manley and their family. Our prays are with you.

  7. Lenee Amatucci Ladas says:

    there should be a camdens law a “safe Haven” for older children.

    1. Renee says:

      A child of any age can be dropped off at a safe haven, a church, fire or police station. It’s not just for babies.

  8. beverly says:

    so sorry to hear that this boy had to go to be with god but i will pray for the family this is so sad i read this and look at my kids and tell them i love them very much no matter what they do they are kids to be loved and care for .

  9. tawny says:

    Why is it that everyone volunteers their time and resources when it is too late…but how many of us take the time to recognize an overwhelmed (esp single) parent, or those caring for elderly parents? This little boy is at peace but I have no doubt many others are still at risk. Constant stress and depression lead to this sickness.

  10. Marcia says:

    The Goves are a caring Compassionate family …..Their lives changed forever 5-14-11 ~ May they always know that our small town will hold them in our hearts!

  11. tony says:

    Manley and Linda Gove now have 15 minutes of fame.

    1. Marcia says:

      Jealous?…….The Goves did not come forward to get 15 minutes of fame. They did not speak up as to who they were until the second vigil at the church a week later. They spoke to give respect to Camden’s family and our community of South Berwick. So take your unwanted, lame comments elsewhere!!!

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