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Candlelight vigil in Austin Park memorializes infant whose cause of death is undetermined

By Howard B. Owens


Unnamed, unknown for months, and whose death is shrouded in mystery, an infant who may never have drawn a breath in this mortal world, was memorialized Wednesday night in a candlelight vigil in Austin Park.

There were words of compassion for Christina M. Colantonio, the 28-year-old Liberty Street woman charged with murder in the second degree even as the District Attorney's Office hedges on its claim of sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal complaint, and greater compassion expressed for the female infant who may have been stillborn, or may have been killed by her own mother, but either way, whose birth was reportedly kept secret, her body hidden in her mother's apartment for about three months.

"Tonight, we're not just out here to remember a life that really didn't have that chance (to make a decision for Christ)," said Pastor Jason Norton. "We're not going to see her pretty face run and skip in this world, and we're not going to hear her pretty voice, and we're not going to experience her here.

"But people, I tell you, she has been received into the heavenlies. I tell you, if you want to know her, then just accept Jesus and believe in him and one day you also will be there and you'll be able to embrace her."

After Norton spoke -- the last of several speakers -- the 40 or 50 people gathered carried their lit candles over to Norton's church in City Center for a reception.

Norton said their candles represented a light in this world to battle the darkness.

"I believe with all of my heart that what we're doing tonight is just not to remember her precious life, and that's why we're here primarily, but we're also here to make a bold statement to our city. We're here to make a bold statement to this region, to this community, that darkness and evil shall not prevail and have its way in this area. Amen. (Amen.) We are making a bold declaration tonight."

Earlier, Pastor Tim Young called on those assembled to pray for Colantonio and her family.

"We're here today to encourage each other," Young said. "We're here to help the family, to give them comfort in this time of need, to help them in whatever we can, to love them, as Christ loves us.

"I encouage each and every one of you in whatever way you can to reach out to this family, to Christina, also, because this lady, woman, needs lots of prayer," Young added. "She needs lots of prayer. The family needs lots of prayer. We need to help and support them in any way we can."

Tammy Arneth, of All Babies Cherished, expressed concern that an expectant mother in the community might not know of the free resources her agency provides.

The agency can help new mothers with emotional support as well as material needs, all for free, but new parents are expected to take some classes through the program.

"It breaks my heart that maybe Christina didn't know to come to see us," Arneth said, adding later, "We had more than 900 visits last year alone and obviously that wasn't enough, because if somebody in this community doesn't know to come to us for services, then we're not doing the job."



The donated stuffed toys will be given to Batavia PD so officers can hand them out to children who might need the tender care they represent in times of crisis.


Attendees had a chance to sign cards for the baby's family.


Pastor Tim Young


Pastor Jason Norton


Tammy Arneth speaking.



Stephanie Armstrong with a closing song.


Lisa Woltz

IN MY OPINION- I wouldn't have given any mention of the mother, aka the presumed innocent until found guilty, ONE WORD where this little childs vigil had set place. That baby didn't have a chance to live, grow and flourish.

Who is speaking for this poor innocent baby who sat in a cooler waiting to be found for three months? The thought sickens me. Two children in the house, going to work everyday and smiling like nothing ever happened. Like it's just another day.

Oh my goodness, and the people above say, "Maybe she didn't know where to go". Really? She's had two children before.

"911, Where is your emergency."
"So and so. I just gave birth to a baby"
"We'll be right there."

It's not that hard to pick up a phone and say, "I need help."

I hope and pray the DA sees through this "ACT" and continues with the case. That angel deserves justice!

Sep 3, 2015, 5:19am Permalink
Tammy Way

have you ever had to ask for help? Sometimes you run up against rude people and in some frame of mind you give up . all those at the vigil are nice but they could care less before hand, how many of those actually helped someone else , without sticking their noses p in the air. This was a true tradgety and i feel bad for that little baby, but folks really instead of showing up after wards look around your neighborhoods and see how you might help. perhaps a sincere hello or goodmornign might just be enough to start. noone knows what that mother faced , i don't understand it but i was not there. only she knows what happened and she will have to live with it.

Sep 3, 2015, 8:19am Permalink
Rich Richmond

Baby Tears
By Conni Johnson

We cried tears when we learned that a child would be, that God had allowed you to quicken in me.
We cried tears with our loved ones as they shared in our joy and we thought about names for a girl or boy.
I cried tears as I thought of the things that we would do, all the things your Daddy would pass on to you.
And I cried as I thought of each inch you had grown, as I pondered the day you'd make yourself known.
Then, to think of the world you must enter brought fears. Once again, little loved one, your Mother cried tears.

Something's wrong, I can tell - once again there are tears, and I'll not get the change of your love through the years.
Oh the ache and the sorrow and all of the pain, and again, yes again, my tears fell like rain.
Then His peace comes to me as I think of you there, gently rocking with Father in his favorite chair.
Your sweet little fingers clenched tight in His palm and His SON softly singing to help keep you calm.
Our FATHER knew your days before they came to be, and He knew, little one, you would not stay with me.
So, I cry but I know that when this life is done, I will greet and embrace you my little sweet one.
There's a time to be born and a time to die, and the joy and the sorrow both make me cry!

Sep 3, 2015, 10:38am Permalink
Lisa Woltz

"Grab a plate and throw it to the floor."
"Did it break?"
"Now say you're to it."
"Did it answer you back?"
"Now do you understand???"

Neither does the Child Without a Voice.

Sep 3, 2015, 11:25am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

No due diligence need be done on our part. The rule is very simple and straight forward. No personal attacks. Whether you believe it true or not is immaterial. That's the truth.

Sep 4, 2015, 10:28am Permalink
Thomas Mooney

I will bow to your rule but it's my right to try and protect people from what I know and have experienced. Its very upsetting that this has not been exposed .

Sep 4, 2015, 10:41am Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

OK, Thomas.
I'm gullible. I'll bite.
What is the purpose of your Comment #10 above?
Especially one from almost 4 years ago.

Sep 4, 2015, 11:23am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Again, comment removed for being a personal attack.

And that fact that you could find that material and copy and paste it pretty much proves nothing is hidden and "not been exposed," Thomas. You want to use this thread of a touching community event to turn it into something off topic and nasty. That's not appropriate.

Sep 4, 2015, 11:32am Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

HOWARD -Just a quick question.
Concerning "personal attacks", I was wondering why Kyle Couchman's Comment #30, from the news item titled "Liberty Street resident accused of murdering infant" was allowed.

It reads, "As for the rest's body found inside property of this witch, that was located on the property that this witch rents. THAT is FACT ... "

Personally, I found it quite offensive that he called this woman a witch. And definitely thought it sounded like a personal attack. But, hey, maybe that's just me. And, I suppose, he (Kyle) might know for a fact that she's a member of a COVEN. In which case, I guess witch would be acceptable.
Just wondering!

Sep 4, 2015, 11:43am Permalink
Rich Richmond

I didn’t attend the event; although I lost my niece Rachel when she was less than 2 months old. She would have been my daughter’s Amber’s age now. I’ll never be an Uncle and I’ll never see the joy on Rachel’s face at Christmas or birthdays or anything of that nature. Many people have their own reasons to attend and just being near others who have experienced such a loss is comforting and uplifting.

Sep 4, 2015, 12:13pm Permalink
Ed Hartgrove

Sorry, Howard.
I keep forgetting that other people have 'jobs', and as such, have limited time.
I'll TRY to remember that you have much more important things to do than read each & every comment. So, in the future, I'll try to remember to send you an email concerning such stuff.

Sep 4, 2015, 12:27pm Permalink
Howard B. Owens

Well, it should be my job to read each and every comment, but sometimes I get busy, and sometimes when I'm busy and there seems to be a thread that's just going and going with the same old back and forth, I tend to say, "I'll get to it later."

Sep 4, 2015, 12:31pm Permalink
Lisa Woltz

Richard, I'm sorry for your loss. My brother lost his son at 29 hours old.

Being there for the little baby I can see. Being there for the woman who is "AT THIS TIME CHARGED WITH 2ND DEGREE MURDER", and putting her name out there should not have happened. The baby is the loss. She was forgotten.

Howard, I commend you for the work you do. Thank you.

Sep 4, 2015, 3:37pm Permalink

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