CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago community is still healing after the death of a 4-year-old boy whose body was found badly burned in a fire. His mother and two men are charged with setting it intentionally.
Tonight, his young life was celebrated in Englewood.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports on the vigil held in his honor.
Through prayer, balloons, ribbons and well wishes, “A safe space for the community to heal,” says Erin Vogel, the co-executive director of Grow Chicago.
And surrounded by flowers in full bloom, Jennifer Jurcak, who attended the vigil, says, “I just wanted him to know someone loved him.”
Tonight she and other Englewood residents honor the life of the young Manny.
“I’m a parent, I have two kids and this is beyond words,” Monique Hoffman said.
A four-year-old who never even got the chance to bud.
“We are here in solidarity to try and come to some kind of closure so we are able to heal fully despite the horrific acts many had to live with,” Ald. Raymond Lopez of the 15th Ward says.
Manny was found dead in an abandoned Englewood home, wrapped in a blanket and on fire. Investigators believe he was dead for several days before he was found.
His mother, Alyssa Garcia, Christian Camerena and a 17-year-old were charged last month. Investigators believe Manny was abused for years.
“There is someone out there that would have taken this child he would have been something amazing and I just hope people are aware of that and think about that before you would do something like that,” Hoffman said.
A tree will be planted in Manny’s honor. Until then, organizers are hopeful a cross standing in the place where it’ll be planted, will be a call to other parents who don’t know where to turn.
“This doesn’t need to be..knock on a neighbors door..go outside and scream..somebody somehow is going to help you,” Jurcak added.
As this community continues to heal, Garcia is being held on $2 million bond and Camarena is behind bars on $1 million bond.