Slain toddler remembered in nighttime ceremony

A special ceremony was held Tuesday night outside the Allen County Courthouse in downtown Fort Wayne.

Malakai Garrett would have been three years old Tuesday, but he died on November 29th. Police say he was murdered by his mother’s boyfriend, Mitchell Vanryn, beaten to death by a caregiver that prosecutors say the boy’s mother, Amber Garrett, knew was abusing her child. She’s been charged with neglect.

Malakai’s father is a Warsaw resident, who told WNDU he had been trying to get custody of his son.

But last night wasn’t about them, it was about the child that many in the crowd of more than two dozen didn’t know.

The News-Sentinel reports they released red, heart-shaped balloons into the night sky and wrote messages in chalk in front of the courthouse doors… honoring not only Malakai but other people taken too soon by acts of violence.