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8-month-old murder victim honored with candlelight vigil in Decatur

MaKynslee Sanders passed away on Monday. Her official cause of death is listed as blunt force trauma.

Posted: Feb 21, 2021 11:17 PM

Dozens gathered in Delano Park in Decatur Sunday night for a candlelight vigil honoring the life of MaKynslee Sanders.

The eight-month-old succumbed to injuries suffered during an attack on Monday. The official cause of death has been ruled blunt force trauma.

"She was our joy and that was taken from us,” Nikki Nichols, Sanders’ grandmother, said Sunday.

With the heartbreak still fresh on the family's minds Sunday, family, friends and strangers gathered by the dozen to help honor the life of MaKynslee and show their support during this extremely difficult and tragic time.

Nichols said the family is overwhelmed by the support of the community, adding that events like Sunday’s vigil help show the family that people understand what they're going through.

"It occupies our mind, but it doesn't change a thing. We are all hurting, and our lives are forever changed because of this,” she said. “We take one day at a time. There is no answer for that."

While the family is still struggling to process the details of the incident, Nichols said they are hoping justice will be served swiftly.

"We have to relive this if it's pushed years down the road or months down the road, we have to relive this if it goes to trial. We have to look him in his face and hear every detail, and I don't think that is something we want to do after months of learning how to live and then having to relive it,” Nichols said. “I don't think that's something that's fair."

A funeral service for MaKynslee will be held at Reynolds Funeral Home in Decatur on Monday at 1 p.m.

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