Quitman vigil following toddler death shines light on child abuse

Quitman vigil following toddler death shines light on child abuse

QUITMAN (KYTX) - Community members gathered in Quitman Sunday night for a special vigil to shine a light on child abuse, one month after two toddlers were found dead in their apartment.

Dozens of lights were lit in memory of one-year-old Natalye Price and her sister 3-year-old Gabriella Guerrero. The two girls died of blunt force trauma on July 24. Although the investigation continues in that case, a Quitman Public Library employee organized a vigil which gave community leaders a platform to educate the public on the impacts of child abuse.

Around 80 members of the community took part in the vigil at the Jim Hogg Park Pavilion. City representatives spoke to the audience about breaking the cycle of child abuse.Statistics provided by the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center revealed in Texas last year, nearly 200 children were killed as a result of child abuse.

Law enforcement representatives and event organizers say, when children are involved, sometimes it's the public's responsibility to step up and at least try to keep children safe.

"One is too many, I mean that's just come on now , these are our kids, they didn't choose to be here we brought them here, it's our job to take car of them to be decent human beings in society," said event organizer Lillian Gray.

"You might report 10 incidents that you see and only one of them be something ,but that's alright, cause that's what we're paid to do go check that out," said police chief Kelly Cole.

Cole said, police would rather check out a report that turns out to be nothing -- than to find out when it's too late.

The toddler's deaths have been ruled homicides.The girls' mother's boyfriend was arrested for tampering with evidence.


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