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Funeral arrangements have been set for a toddler who died after police say his mom left him in a car for hours.
The Limestone County Sheriff's Office says Casen Case's mom is a known drug user. She's charged with murder.
"I know he's in heaven. I know he's always going to be looking down," Laura Barnett, Casen's paternal aunt, said. "He didn't deserve it. He didn't deserve any of it."
Casen's mom, Elizabeth Case, and paternal grandmother discovered the boy Saturday afternoon. Police said his mom left him in the car, strapped in his car seat, after a night of dumpster diving. They said he stayed in that car until at least 1:30 in the afternoon, something that will haunt his family forever.
"I know I have an angel looking down on me now, and it's Casen. I know that," Casen's paternal grandmother, Theresa Moss, said.
Police said Case was currently out on bond for first-degree robbery, a felony.
"Losing a 13-month-old, I don't think, I mean, that's something you don't ever get over. You'll never forget," Barnett said.
WAAY 31 reached out to the Alabama Department of Human Resources to see if the agency had any open investigations against Case. We've not heard back.
Alabama's law says abuse is any harm or treatment to a child's welfare. Neglect is defined as negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child. In either case, if reported, Human Resources and Child Protective Services will launch an investigation.
Casen's paternal family says they knew his mom had a past, but didn't believe she would put him in danger. They want to forgive her for their own peace of mind.
"It's not our place to judge. We can't make any judgment on her, you know? The court system is going to be the one that's gonna judge her and give her, her punishment," Barnett said.
They said they just want to remember Casen as the happy, little boy with the big blue eyes.
"Casen was my everything, you know, he was. I will never forget them beautiful blue eyes and him looking up at me and saying, 'Gigi,'" Moss said.
Casen's funeral is on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Friendship United Methodist Church in Athens. The family will receive friends before.
The family has a GoFundMe set up to help pay for funeral expenses and an account at Redstone Credit Union under Laura Barnett, named "Casen's Memorial Fund."
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