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ST. LOUIS — Relatives of 3-year-old Emmanuel Ware lit candles Monday, as they put their grief on display at the south St. Louis intersection where police responded Friday afternoon.

Emmanuel’s mother and her boyfriend said the toddler died in a hit-and-run near Rutger Street and South Jefferson Avenue.

“I’ve been crying since Friday,” said Emmanuel’s aunt, Lawanda Moore. “I can’t shed another tear.”

Some family members doubt a hit-and-run driver took the child’s life. Responding officers reported finding bruises on Emmanuel’s body.

The family said Emmanuel just celebrated his third birthday.

“A baby should never have to go through something like this,” said Emmanuel’s grandmother, Wanda Lee.

The department’s child abuse and homicide divisions began investigating. Emmanuel’s relatives who gathered Monday called on anyone with information about his death to contact authorities.

“I just want whatever happened to him to come to light and for him to get justice,” said Emmanuel’s aunt., Briana Moore.

“This leaves a big hole, you know, not just for me but everybody,” said Emmanuel’s uncle, Travion Lee. “And it should leave a big hole for the people who did it.”

Anyone with information about the child’s death can call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477 (TIPS).