Antonio, the five-year old boy who was found dead in Great Falls on Wednesday, will not be forgotten, thanks to community members who are determined to honor his memory and life.
A memorial event is being planned for Sunday, November 24th, from 6 pm to 7 pm. It will be outside the apartment building where Antonio's body was found, at 1201 9th Street NW. A small vigil was held on Thursday night at the same location, with people stopping to drop off flowers, toys, cards, and candles.
The organizers of Sunday's event are Kelsey Leigh Johns and Schelli Teats, according to the
Facebook event page
, which states:
- A little boy lost his life this week due to NOT having a voice! Let’s Not let anything like this ever happen again, let’s stand together as a community and fighter for better for those who can't fight for themselves. We will STAND for Antonio! Bring a candle, bring a teddy bear, bring your neighbors, and bring an open heart to give back. Let’s show Antonio that he IS loved, will always be loved, and HE will NEVER be forgotten! 💔🙏🏻
They will also be collecting donations for Toby's House Crisis Nursery . The organizers concluded with: "Our community must come away from this STRONGER, smarter, and more AWARE! We are with you Antonio forever and always! Rest in Peace sweet boy!"
In addition, Megan Brunelle plans to honor Antonio by hosting a bake sale at the Ulm school gym on December 14th. All proceeds will go directly to Toby's House Crisis Nursery. Megan said, "Let’s honor this sweet boy and make sure he is never forgotten." Megan says that people can bring diapers, formula, wipes, etc in exchange for baked goods as well. Click here to visit the Facebook event page .
We also have been made aware of a GoFundMe account which aims to help with burial expenses for Antonio; we are working to verify that the account is legitimate before sharing it.
Kristina Remsen, owner of Klover in downtown Great Falls, says that she and several other downtown retailers plan to donate a portion of their sales on Saturday (November 23) to Toby's House Crisis Nursery. Kristina says that so far, these are the businesses that plan to do so, and others may also participate: Blue Rose, The Boutique, Motifs, Cakes By Carr, Inge's Fashion, and Crooked Tree.
KRTV has been talking with family members and child-welfare advocates in Great Falls about this tragedy, and will have more information on this evening's newscast and online.
Three people have been
charged with deliberate homicide
for Antonio's death: his parents, Emelio Renova and Stephanie Byington; and Racso Birdtail, an acquaintance of theirs.