Vigil organized to remember 8-month-old baby who was beaten to d - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Vigil organized to remember 8-month-old baby who was beaten to death

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Salem, Indiana (WDRB) -- One week from today, a large vigil is expected for an 8-month-old baby who police say was beaten to death.

Yvonne Casey wears a blue shirt that says, Justice for Baby Leelan. She is helping organize a vigil to remember Leelan Crain, who police say was beaten to death. They mourn as they see his small grave marker, flowers and other mementos.

Casey says, "We will fight for justice for you Leelan." About organizing the vigil, Casey says, "It is just for the community to get together and remember this baby who was abused, neglected, murdered, and everybody turned a blind eye."

Leelan's mother Casey Crain was visibly upset as she was charged with neglect after her son died.  Police say she and her live-in boyfriend Jamie Lykins, who is charged with battery resulting in death, and neglect of a dependent, initially said the boy was injured when he rolled off his bed.

Valerie Chinn asked, "What did Jamie do to your son?" Crain replied, "I was not in the room, so I don't know." But she also said, "Jamie freaking beat him I guess.  I hate him so much. I hope he gets what he deserves and I know he will."

Lykins also faced drug charges earlier this year.

In a picture, you can see bruising on Leelan's face.

Meghan Sinex, a vigil participant said, "It's not just bruises on the kid. It's if they are around drugs, being pushed away for drugs. It's not just bruising, it's neglect."

Janet Irk, another vigil participant said, "Every picture you saw of that poor baby -- gashes, bruises, cuts."

Saying a small grave marker is not enough for the baby, the Salem community has banded together raising hundreds of dollars to have a more permanent reminder of Leelan. A new tombstone will soon be put at his gravesite.

Casey says, "It is very sad, that's why we were pushing to pay for the headstone and his funeral and now we're in the works of getting a memorial bench."

The vigil starts next Friday at 7 p.m. at the Crown Hill Cemetery. There's a balloon liftoff and then a candlelight ceremony.

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