Enrico Guy, left, and Dwanise Guy, second from left, attend the annual Child Memorial in Toledo. Mr. Guy’s 16-year-old son and Ms. Guy’s stepson, Kantraylious Guy, was a victim of a gunshot wound.
On the back of Hope Gonzales’ black T-shirt was a picture of her cousin, Kantraylious Guy. He was smiling in the photo.
It’s one way she remembers the 16-year-old boy found dead inside a family-owned home last December.
“He was just a kid,” she said Friday, standing outside the Lucas County Children Services offices where dozens of people gathered to remember Kantraylious and four other children who died “as a result of abuse or neglect.”
The Child Memorial, hosted every April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month, also honored Thomas Stahl, 7 months; Cody Chrisman, 14 months; and Saniya Sullivan, 3 who all drowned in separate incidents. Deshaun Lee, 16, a shooting victim, also was remembered.
“Even though this is the first year in recent memory that we did not lose a child as a result of physical abuse, losing these five children is equally as tragic,” said Dean Sparks, executive director of Lucas County Children Services. “Their deaths should serve as a reminder that regardless of a child’s age, we need to keep them close and pay attention to their activities 24 hours a day.”
Kantraylious’ family stood close together Friday, listening to Mr. Sparks and then the Woodward High School Choir sing. It has been four months since Kantraylious’ father, Enrico Guy, found his son Dec. 21 in a pool of blood inside 544 Acklin Ave. The boy died of a single gunshot wound to the face, the coroner’s office said.
No one has been arrested.
“It’s great that people remember because they still haven’t found his killer,” Ms. Gonzales said. “Somebody knows something. He was a good kid. … I don’t think we’ll have closure until we know what happened.
“The way they just left him,” she said, sighing. “He was there for hours.”
Tyrone Armstrong reads a poem he wrote in honor of his friend Kantraylious Guy. ‘It’s been a while since you’ve been gone. For your friends and family, things just aren’t the same. It still doesn’t seem real. Who holds the blame?’ Mr. Armstrong read during the event in front of Lucas County Children Services.
“I’m mad as hell,” said Monique Pearson, a cousin of Kantraylious.
Ms. Gonzales passes the house every day. “It’s hard,” she said. “It’s so hard.”
Kantraylious’ stepmother, Dwanise Guy, watches the door to their home about the time her stepson, a junior at Scott High, would come home from school or from hanging out with friends.
Though she knows Kantraylious is gone, she can’t help but hope he’ll come through the door with that infectious smile of his.
At the memorial, Tyrone Armstrong, a friend of Kantraylious, read a poem he wrote two weeks after the death.
“It’s been a while since you’ve been gone. For your friends and family, things just aren’t the same. It still doesn’t seem real. Who holds the blame?” he read quietly.
Mrs. Guy wiped away a tear.
Bev Pack of Oregon watches as her grandson, Gabriel Terry, and neighbor, Danika Miller, at the event.
Cody Chrisman drowned in a small decorative pond in the backyard of his family’s Washington Township home Oct. 29, 2010.
Deshaun Lee, a Woodward High student, was shot twice about 12:35 a.m. May 29 while crossing the street from his grandmother’s house. He died soon after at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.
Bev Pack of Oregon was at the memorial. She sat, watching her grandson, Gabriel Terry, and neighbor Danika Miller, both 3, chase bubbles blown in honor of the lost children.
For Ms. Pack, the memorial meant something more. She is trying to adopt her 10-year-old granddaughter, who is in foster care.
Ms. Pack recently found out her granddaughter is a victim of abuse.
“Every kid likes to blow bubbles,” Mr. Sparks said. “I hope [Thomas, Cody, Saniya, Kantraylious, and Deshaun] see the bubbles, that they’re loved, and missed.”
Contact Taylor Dungjen at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6054.