Dozens gather to remember slain toddler

("A row of tea candles" by Markus Grossalber, CC BY 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): More than 50 people gathered for a candlelight vigil held yesterday in memory of a 2-year-old that was allegedly beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend two weeks ago.

Malakai Garrett was the 36th homicide of the year in Allen County when he died at a Fort Wayne hospital on November 29th. He’d suffered severe internal injuries consistent with that of a beating, and 27-year-old Mitchell Vanryn has since been charged with murder.

Pastor Debra Meuter with Gethsemane Lutheran Church tells our Partners in News at ABC 21 last night’s vigil was an attempt to help those hurting over this start to heal.

RELATED: Fort Wayne man charged over toddler’s death

“A little bit of peace. To know that we can come together as a community,” Meuter says.” And for us, as a Christian church to tell them that Malakai is in Jesus’ arms, that’s very important for us to be able to say.”

Car decals and bracelets with the words “Justice for Malakai” on them were sold at the event, with the proceeds going to cover funeral expenses.

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