August 2, 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

To the haunting refrains of Amazing Grace, 150 strangers on Thursday attended the funeral of a seven-month-old girl who died of starvation in a basement that resembled a 'dungeon' in January.

Police, firefighters and members of the public who never knew little May Edwards arrived at St. Anne Catholic Church in Barrington, Chicago, to mourn the baby and released a solitary balloon at the cemetery as she was buried.

 Maya's CasketThe ceremony and burial were organized by a non-profit organization and attended by community members and the police and fire officials who were among the first to see Mya after she died

Deacon Jim Pauwels, gave a eulogy in which he asked those present not to think of their anger at the child's passing but to mourn her.
'When we're confronted with a case of innocence suffering, a case of death coming where there should have been life and growth and promise, it's not possible to not react,'

The turnout of so many was in part sparked by the shock and horror in the community after the death of Mya - after her parents allegedly allowed her to starve to death because they couldn't afford food for her…

Mya's parents, Gene Edwards, 22, and Markisa Jones, 19, have pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment stemming from the girl's death after they stopped feeding her and her twin sister Mia formula.
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At the funeral was Mya's uncle, Joaquin Edwards.  He said he was 'grateful' for the service but wished his family was involved.
'I feel very pleased and at ease to know that she is buried,' Edwards said to The Daily Herald.

One firefighter, Chris Alioto, played the bagpipes during the burial, giving an emotional rendition of Amazing Grace.Detective Sgt. Kevin Croke, who is leading the investigation, said the funeral was necessary.  'It's not common you get this kind of closure in this kind of case,' he said.

 Maya's Funeral1
Posted by Jill Fallon at August 2, 2014 10:46 AM | Permalink