A Joint Service of Bradley University and Illinois State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Mourners show 8-year-old Navin Jones 'love and support' at vigil

Tim Shelley
A memorial is set up for 8-year-old Navin Jones in the front yard of 1717 N. Gale Ave. on Peoria's Center Bluff. Several dozen mourners gathered to hold a vigil for Navin on Tuesday night, a week after his death.

Family members, friends, and others mourned the death of 8-year-old Navin Jones Tuesday evening.

Navin was pronounced dead on March 29 at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center after he was found unresponsive in the house at 1717 N. Gale Ave. in Peoria.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood calls Navin's one of the worst abuse cases he has seen. Navin weighed less than 40 pounds at the time of his death.

Several dozen people attended the vigil organized by one of Navin's cousins at the house on Gale.

That included Melissa Logan, a relative of Navin's cousins.

"I haven't seen him in a very long time. However, he was very happy when he was little. He loved to play, and he was a very sweet little boy," Logan said.

The front lawn of the home was strewn with stuffed animals, signs, candles spelling out his name - and photos of a smiling Navin.

It's that Navin which Logan said she wants people to remember.

"I want them to remember him as a happy baby. Someone that didn't understand what was happening, but loved unconditionally," she said.

Navin's parents are charged with his murder. They're due back in Peoria County circuit court for arraignment on April 28.

Logan said it's been a very difficult time, but it is still important to show Navin love and support.

"Just hug your babies tight and hold them longer," said Logan.

We depend on your support to keep telling stories like this one. You – together with NPR donors across the country – create a more informed public. Fact by fact, story by story. Please take a moment to donate now and fund the local news our community needs. Your support truly makes a difference.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.