Forsyth remembers 5-year-old Heaven Woods
The vigil for 5-year-old Heaven Woods started with some upbeat music, but quickly turned to a somber tone.
Hundreds lined the streets, and the candles lit up the square, giving the night a “heavenly” touch.
“Honey, you’re in a better place,” said parent and attendee Karen Harbuck. “Unfortunately, I’m sorry that you suffered so much and you were in so much pain, but I’m so thankful that you’re in a better place,” said Harbuck.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Woods suffered and eventually died from what could have been years of abuse.
“We’re just gonna show Heaven that we love her,” said Carolyn Freeman with Fans Against Child Abuse.
And Tuesday night, her memory lived on.
“Heaven liked to dance, so we’re gonna dance for Heaven and we’re just going to have a really, really nice time,” said Freeman. “And this is our service for Heaven.”
Hundreds gathered in downtown Forsyth to pay respects, including Harbuck.
“I’m a pediatric nurse, I see a lot of tragic results,” said Harbuck. If they don’t pass away, a lot of times, it’s worse. They are devastated.”
Freeman represents Fans Against Child Abuse–an organization dedicated to stopping child suffering.
“I’ve been speaking to other mayors and cities and surrounding and we’re gonna step forward,” said Freeman. “I’m available. I’m forming task forces, there’s going to be city hall and town meetings.”
Freeman hosted the event, and hopes through the singing and dancing, the community will understand: child abuse happens everyday.
“So hopefully in her passing, she has saved her unborn sibling and there’s gonna be one more child that doesn’t have to be hit tonight or tomorrow,” said Freeman. “And there’s one less small coffin that will be purchased next month or next year because of Heaven.”
The five year old was found unconscious last week, inside her home on Brookwood Drive.
Autopsy results showed she had several new and old bruises, and died of a blow to the stomach.