'Anthony was one of us': Edmonton church to hold vigil for deceased toddler
Behind an Edmonton church where a toddler's body was found two days ago, snow fell on a memorial of teddy bears and flowers at the scene on Sunday as community members wait for answers from police.
Michael MacIsaac stopped by the memorial at the north wall of Good Shepherd Anglican Church on Sunday morning to lay some of his own son's toys alongside the flowers, stuffed animals, balloons and crosses already there.
"All of us are feeling love for the child. We don't know the child, but now we do. He's always going to be in our hearts," said MacIsaac, himself a father of a one-year-old.
"A helpless little child put in that situation, it's just uncalled for."
Body found Friday; charges pending
Edmonton police were called Friday afternoon to the church at Castledowns Road and 155th Avenue after a passerby found the toddler's body.
Police appealed to the public that night for help identifying the child, holding a media conference to show the clothing he was wearing — a little blue onesie with a Batman logo, black sneakers with neon green laces and a pastel blue snowsuit.
With respect to the investigation, police released security footage of two "people of interest" who they believed had information critical to the investigation. Grainy images showed two people pushing a stroller in a nearby grocery store.
Police said the child was left at the church on April 18, three days prior to when he was found. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
The pair in the security video, a 26-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman, were arrested Saturday night and police believe they are responsible for the death of the toddler.
Police said charges are pending against the two suspects, but have not officially been laid because they are still being interviewed. The interviews are expected to take hours and police have not released the suspects' names.
Investigators are not looking for any additional suspects.
Vigil to be held later this week
Sunday's hour-long service at Good Shepherd Anglican Church began with a moment of silence for the toddler. Congregation members said after the service that they kept the little boy in their prayers.
Priest Jon Connell said there will be a vigil at the church later this week. The Anglican Diocese of Edmonton is expected to issue an official statement on Monday.
Cristian Ramirez lives in Sherwood Park, but was compelled to drive to Good Shepherd to add a teddy bear to the memorial Sunday.
"It's worth it," Ramirez said, touched by the empathy of others who also laid items for the little boy.
"It's just the meaning of the act that shows support."
Ramirez has a three-year-old daughter.
"She just asked me, 'Where's the little boy going to be?'" said Ramirez, who told her that he was in heaven. "He's going to be watching for all of us."