Here’s a little something to both warm and break your heart on this Friday morning.
Yesterday, Park Lake Baptist Church in Waco dedicated a beautiful concrete memorial, including benches, to murdered two-year-old Frankie Gonzalez, whose body was discovered in a dumpster in the church’s parking lot on June 2 after Frankie’s mother led police to it.
The dumpster has long since been removed, but people have continued to leave candles, stuffed animals, and other tokens of remembrance for Frankie in the spot where it stood.
Frankie’s mother, Laura Villalon Sanchez, was arrested on June 2 and has been charged with first-degree felony injury to a child. Because Frankie’s cause and manner of death have not been released, further charges have not yet been announced.
Frankie’s father, Lorenzo Gonzalez, was arrested on June 17 on a second-degree felony charge of abandoning or endangering a child for leaving Frankie and his two young sisters with Laura after he knowingly signed an agreement with CPS that he would not do so.
At noon on Thursday, June 25, Park Lake Drive Baptist Church held a private dedication ceremony of the memorial along with members of Frankie’s family. On the church’s Facebook page, they announced, “Phase One of the project is complete! A huge thank you to S&D Concrete of Waco, Phipps Memorial of Waco, and Home Depot of Bellmead for their donations and hard work!! This space is designed to be a place of reflection and prayer.”
The church added that out of respect for the space, mourners should not leave candles, as the wax “eventually spills onto the concrete.” Instead, they asked that stuffed animal donations be made in memory of Frankie to CASA of McLennan County.
“A special thanks to Deacons Chad Williams and Tom Moore for their heart and vision for this project,” the church’s Facebook page said yesterday. “…it’s truly a reflection of our church family!”
Click here for my ongoing coverage of Frankie’s story.
I will also be featuring Frankie’s story on Episode 19 of Suffer the Little Children Podcast, which will be released on Tuesday, June 30 at 5:00 AM. Find Suffer the Little Children Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening app.
Sources: KXXV, Park Lake Drive Baptist Church Facebook page