WELLSTON, MO (KTVI)-- Heartbreak filled a church in Wellston Wednesday night as relatives of a child abuse murder victim held a vigil to honor his memory.
Three year old Dashon Haskin was beaten to death January 9. It happened inside an apartment in a building owned by the St. Louis City Housing Authority. The St. Louis City Medical Examiner said the boy died of a lacerated liver caused by multiple blows to his torso.
Family members gathering at the Wagner Avenue Church of Christ said they were unaware of any previous abuse. 25-year-old Hershell Kirkman, the mother`s boyfriend, faces second degree murder, child abuse and armed criminal action charges for the killing. Dashon`s mother, Ericka Haskin is charged with child endangerment for failing to seek timely medical help once she realized the boy was hurt.
Both Kirkman and Haskin are being held on cash only bonds in the St Louis City Justice Center.
The child`s relatives recalled his joyful and energetic personality. 'His smile lit up the room,' said great aunt Theresa Washington.
"We need that young spirit in the church," said Will Moore of the Wagner Avenue Church of Christ. "We`re just praying for the family and asking that the community and the church reach out. This is a time to reach out to that family and let them know that we love them and they are not by themselves, they are not alone in this tragedy," he said.
Visitation for Dashon Haskin will be Thursday from 11am to 1pm followed by his funeral at the Ronald Jones Funeral Chapel at 2161 East Fair Avenue, St. Louis.