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Candlelight vigil for Wentzville baby who died following horrific abuse

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WENTZVILLE, MO (KTVI) – Final prayers in the soft glow of candlelight for baby Jaxon, who died earlier this week from injuries police say were inflicted upon him by his father.

About 20 people, including Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione and first responders, gathered at Heartland Park in Wentzville Friday night.

“Heaven gained an angel and now we're here to honor that life that wasn't honored before," said Ashley Riling, a Jaxon supporter.

Jaxon’s father, 19-year-old Robert James Burnette, is charged with abuse of a child resulting in death. Police say the baby's mother, Megan Hendricks, watched the abuse and didn't call for help. She's been charged with abuse or neglect of a child.

Court documents stated that Burnette shoved his fingers down Jaxon's throat in an attempt to find the boy's voice box to stop him from crying; Burnette allegedly shook the child violently and threw him on the bed.

“I think it's despicable what they've done and I think a prison sentence for either one of them is not good enough," said Nelson Gray, who came out to the vigil.

Word of the abuse travelled fast on social media, breaking hearts all over Wentzville and the rest of the world.

"I don't understand how somebody can treat someone that small or any age that wrong," Summer Marshall said. She made the drive from Kansas City for the vigil.

Riling said vigils like this happened in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and in the United Kingdom for Jaxon.

Mayor Guccione wants parents to know there is help out there.

“It’s heart-wrenching that this happened in our community," Guccione said. "We have so many resources available: the Child Center, Crisis Nursery, police, EMS, fire, my office as well; we would have taken the child.”

People at Friday’s vigil stressed that awareness is the key, so that no child has to go through what ended Jaxon's life.

Another vigil is scheduled at Element Church in Wentzville on Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.