Grease trap death: Heartbroken mother speaks with News10NBC after losing 3-year-old

July 23, 2019 12:09 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- On Tuesday, friends and family will attend a funeral for the little boy who tragically died at Tim Hortons last week. 

Bryce was only three. He was at work with his mother when he wandered away, fell into a grease trap and drowned.


As the child's family prepares to say their goodbyes, his mother sat down with News10NBC's Deanna Dewberry. 

Bryce was a beautiful boy who loved his bike, basketball and Elmo with unbridled enthusiasm. 

"And so when you have this loving, vivacious little boy who isn't here anymore, how does the family begin to cope with that? How do you begin to cope with that?" asked Dewberry. 

"As best as we can. This happened so sudden. It happened so fast," said Renee Cullum, mother of Bryce. 

In seconds, she had taken her little guy to work because her sitter couldn't keep him.

"That's not my first time taking him to work with me, so it felt like a normal day. Got his phone set up for him, got his apple juice, they were making hash sticks for him.....I clocked in and started my day," Cullum said. 

When her little guy started to get restless, she suggested he come outside with her while she took out the trash.

"As soon as I opened the door, he just shot out the door and started running and I seen him run to the side of the building.... and I seen him running toward me and I turned around and grabbed the rest of the boxes... and I turned back around and he wasn't there."

Little Bryce had fallen in a grease pit covered only with an unsecured plastic lid. 

His mother is grateful that legislators are already proposing changes.

"I just knew my baby was gonna be brushed under the rug. Nobody was gonna care. I never expected this out of the whole community." 

And to the Rochester community, she says thank you.

Dewberry: "As you live your life and you move forward, how will you honor Bryce?"

Cullum: "Like I honor him every day. I talk to the air every day. I still tell him I love him. I still tell him he's handsome." 

And he will always be her little boy.

Cullum says she's focused on just trying to get through the service Tuesday, but she wanted to take a moment to thank the entire community for the outpour of support she's gotten.

Her family has established a GoFundMe for Cullum to cover expenses.


Deanna Dewberry

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