BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A makeshift-memorial set up in memory of the toddler killed in Brunswick continued to grow until the heavy rains Saturday, which forced the family to pick up the items to keep them dry.
One day after two young suspects were arrested, the Brunswick community still continues to offer their support to the family.
The father of the slain toddler spoke with First Coast News Saturday.
Joe Williams, father of four and grandfather to 14, was one of several who stopped by the memorial on London Street where 13-month-old Antonio Santiago was shot to death.
"Just had to come by and take a look for myself, it's outrageous, affected a whole lot of people around here in Brunswick," Williams said. "Just couldn't get it off of my mind, had to come by here and see this."
Not long after, Louis Santiago, father of the slain toddler arrived. Strangers who recognized him from television showed their supports by giving him hugs.
"It's been weighing on me, I didn't know him initially, just been weighing on me heavily because it is such a shocking thing. I didn't realize he would be here, but I definitely wanted to pray over him and give him a hug."
Santiago said the journey since his son's death has been like a nightmare.
"I have to go through here every day, knowing my son got killed on this corner," Santiago said as he wept. "The support that we are getting is unbelievable, but all the support and everything will never bring my boy back, and I appreciate it, I don't mean to sound, you know, I miss my boy."
With the help of friends, Santiago began to gather up all those items community members left on the corner as the rain began to fall, while others continued bringing items by in memory of Antonio.
A local cleaning business owner, Michael Westcott, dropped by and offered his services free to the grieving father. a close friend offered to just talk.
"He looks like he hasn't had any rest, and it is just eating him alive," Westcott said. "He asked me to come back and talk with him, he wants someone to be there with him, I will come back and sit with him a while later."
Santiago says the police have not talked to him at all about the arrests of the two young suspects.
"Like I said I forgive these kids, just would like to ask them why, they should have just let them go once she said she didn't money just let it be," Santiago said. "I don't know what was in the minds of those kids."
First Coast News