Vigil held for toddler killed in Lansing

March 21, 2014 (EVANSTON, Ill.)

Lansing police say they are still investigating but have nothing new to report. No charges have been filed.

They gathered to mourn and to remember a little girl they remember as sweet and bubbly, but who suffered what many here consider an unspeakable death.

Jakarriah Patterson was two years old and was staying with her father when Lansing police were called to the home the father shared with his girlfriend. They found her lifeless body inside.

The vigil in Evanston Friday night was also in support of Jakarriah's mother.

"It feels great to know that I got support from people and know that I'm well-loved out here and I'm not just by myself during this rough time," said Karla Patterson, Jakarriah's mother.

Neighbors have created a growing memorial full of balloons and stuffed animals upside the father's home where the baby was killed. The medical examiner found evidence of child abuse including blunt force trauma injuries.

"She means the world to me. I love her, she's like my baby. Me and my daughter raised her together. And she's only two, she didn't even get to live her life," said Carmelita Patterson, Jakarriah's grandmother.

At the vigil, they light candles, hold on to each other and pray. Notable for his absence at the vigil was Jakarriah's father. Lansing police refused comment, though family members say they have been told he is being questioned about her death.

On Friday night though, they are trying to focus on positive thoughts.

"That's what keeps me smiling right now 'cause that's all I see is my baby's face. As long as I can continue to see my baby's face, I'm gonna keep smiling because that's all she did," said Karla Patterson.

Lansing police say charges could be filed as early as Saturday morning. Another vigil is planned for Sunday evening.

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