NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) -- A local councilman is working to create a permanent memorial to remember a young boy who died after allegedly being beaten by his mother's boyfriend.
Since April, the playground at JFK Park in New Kensington has been lined with piles of teddy bears, pinwheels and blue flowers to remember 3-year-old Mikel Fetterman, who died after injuries allegedly sustained from abuse by his mother's boyfriend, Keith Lilly Jr.
Mindy Wilson runs the Facebook group called "Justice For Mikel."
She helped start the memorial and said when she went to visit on Friday, "I pulled over in here and everything was gone."
Councilman Dante Cicconi told KDKA the City of New Kensington removed the memorial at the request of a close family member who felt haunted by it.
KDKA spoke to the family member, who confirmed she is the one who asked to have it taken down.
This decision did not sit right with Susan Townsend, Mikel's paternal grandmother, who said she used to visit the memorial every night and is heartsick that it's gone.
Townsend said she never had the chance to meet her grandson and that she only knew he existed after a detective called her the day Fetterman went on life support. The memorial is where she got to know him.
"The memorial was the only connection I had with my grandson," said Townsend.
Councilman Cicconi told KDKA he is now working with both sides of the family to create a permanent memorial for Fetterman.
"We look to do a butterfly garden, a place where people can garden and heal," said Cicconi.
The councilman said the city will donate manpower, and he is offering free design services to the family so they can come up with the perfect memorial.
- Teresa Fetterman Facing Charges In Death Of Son
- Westmoreland Co. Man Now Facing Homicide, Sexual Abuse Charges In Death Of 2-Year-Old Boy
- Community Members Gather To Remember Mikel Fetterman, Demand Justice
- 2-Year-Old Boy Allegedly Beaten By His Mother's Boyfriend Dies
- 'Just A 2-Year-Old Little Boy': Man Accused Of Brutally Beating Girlfriend's Son Who Is Now On Life Support
"It hits me to the core and anything I can do to help, I'm willing," said Cicconi.
Family members said they hope to have this finished by next spring.
for more features.