KNIGHTS LANDING (CBS13) — A community came together to remember a three-week-old baby boy who was found dead in a slough on Wednesday as questions linger over the disappearance of his mother and him.
Camouflage ribbons were handed out as a reflection of strength and courage. No one from the baby's family was at Wednesday night's vigil, but a relative says the boy's mother and father spent several hours down at police headquarters talking to investigators.
It was a night of mourning under a cloud of mystery and strong convictions surrounding the death of Justice Rees.
"Stop the negativity until it's finished," said family friend Sandra Tafoya. "Nobody is a court of law here. Nobody can pass judgment. Everybody needs to stop until Samantha has come to terms with what has happened."
But what happened to the newborn is still unclear.
His mother, 23-year-old Samantha Green was found distraught, bruised and with torn pants near a Knights Landing slough on Tuesday night after she and her son were reported missing on Monday. Investigators have not named Green a suspect in the case and do not believe foul play is involved.
"I don't think she had anything to do with hurting the baby. I mean, she just loved that little boy. She would never hurt him," said Justice's grandmother Patty Rees.
But hurt does flow, with each flicker of the candles at the vigil for parents like Desiree Vera.
"It hits close to home because I'm a mom and I know I would want everybody searching and putting together prayers for my baby no matter what the circumstances were," she said.
With a prayer book offering heartfelt messages of closure and strength, the community hopes the vigil will bring peace and justice to a little boy taken after just 20 days of life.
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