Church Holds Vigil for Toddler Whose Body was Found Nearby

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Posted at 7:51 AM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 07:51:00-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Congregants of a Jacksonville church held a vigil in memory of a toddler whose remains were found nearby.

Investigators say they believe the remains found Sunday in a "garbage heap" in a wooded area near Julington Baptist Church are those of Lonzie Barton. The 21-month-old boy was reported missing in July.

No cause of death has been determined. Lonzie's mother and her boyfriend have been accused of child neglect.

The Florida Times-Union reports ( ) that Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief Tom Hackney joined the crowd that gathered for the vigil Thursday at the church. Hackney said recovering Lonzie's body was "a very sad occasion" but the discovery also answered prayers that the boy would be found.

Hackney said he wished he had more answers for people who ask why Lonzie died.