ARUNDEL, Maine — Candles were lit, words of sorrow were shared and tears were shed Saturday evening as about 15 people — family members and friends of the family — gathered to remember a 2 1/2-month-old infant who died tragically earlier this month.
As those gathered spoke about the short life and too-soon death of Ethan Henderson, they let loose into the air a child’s helium balloon. The balloon had been signed by those attending the vigil.
Henderson was injured May 6 and had been at Maine Medical Center in Portland. He died Tuesday at the hospital after being taken off life support.
The boy’s father, Gordon Collins-Faunce, 23, of Arundel, has been charged in connection with the death.
On Saturday, friends and family spoke about how special Henderson was and how much he will be missed.
“There will not be a second that goes by that we do not think about him,” said Ethan’s mother, Christina Henderson, who called him her “cuddle bug.”
“He will be missed forever,” she said.
“Every day, he lit up our world,” said Ethan’s step-grandmother, Debra White.
She is married to Dana White, Collins-Faunce’s biological father, who also attended Saturday’s vigil and said he will miss his grandson.
“We wish we could hold him one more time. To see that beautiful smile he had,” said Amy Laverdiere, Christina Henderson’s sister. “He never got to take his first steps, never got to say ‘mommy,’ never got to celebrate his first Christmas, his first birthday.”
“He’s where he needs to be now, even though it hurts,” said Fonnie Hunt, another of Christina Henderson’s sisters.
In addition, said Debra White, “His death will not have been in vain. Hopefully, a parent will see this and get help if they need it.”
According to a police affidavit, Collins-Faunce told police he injured his son when he picked him up by the head and threw him into a living room chair, snapping his head back.
Before the injury that caused his son’s death, Collins-Faunce said in the police interview that he felt “overwhelmed,” and that he was “losing control” taking care of Ethan and Ethan’s twin brother, Lucas.
That was not the first time Collins-Faunce injured Ethan, according to court documents. He said he caused a hairline fracture in Ethan’s arm in March, according to the police affidavit.
Collins-Faunce is being held on $100,000 cash bail on charges of depraved indifference murder, elevated aggravated assault and assault in connection with his Ethan’s death.
Journal Tribune writer Jeff Lagasse contributed to this story.
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