Hundreds walk for justice for Ethan Stacy

May 23 2010 - 6:11pm

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(Beth Schlanker/Standard-Examiner) Balloons were part of Saturday's walk for Ethan Stacy
(Beth Schlanker/Standard-Examiner) Balloons were part of Saturday's walk for Ethan Stacy

LAYTON -- They walked for Ethan and for justice.

Hundreds began walking Saturday morning outside the apartment where 4-year-old Ethan Stacy was murdered, many wearing white T-shirts and carrying pinwheels, balloons and signs with Ethan's picture.

The 10-mile march ended at the Davis Justice Center, home to the Davis County Jail, where Ethan's stepfather Nathanael Sloop and his mother Stephanie Sloop are being held awaiting charges in connection with his death.

Outside the justice center, the walkers held a moment of silence for Ethan and released balloons into the sky.

The "Walk for Justice for Ethan Stacy" was organized on Facebook by Lucinda Martin, of Harrisville, and Anissa Martinez, of Roy.

"We just wanted to get justice for Ethan. His family is not able to speak for him. It's up to us as a community to speak for Ethan's justice," Martin said. "This affected hundreds of people. I don't know if anybody here actually knew him personally, but they're all here for support. They're all here for justice for him. This affected so many people on different levels."

Martin created a Facebook page for the walk last Saturday and expected to see 50 to 100 people show up. She estimated 400 came instead.

"This is just overwhelming. I just can't believe that all these people are here," she said.

Danilyn Hansen, of Ogden, helped publicize Saturday's walk and obtained donated food supplies for the walkers.

When she heard Ethan's story, she needed to do something to help, Hansen said.

"I couldn't get (Ethan's) little face out of my head," Hansen said. "Part of me kept thinking, there are so many people out there, like myself, that can't have children of their own, and then you see situations where it's like this, that people shouldn't have children."

Hansen was in an accident six years ago and afterward was told she wouldn't be able to have children.

"How could somebody treat a child like this, instead of going to somebody that's longed for a child for so long -- for all their life -- and can't have kids?" she asked. "And yet you see something like this happen."

Hansen wants Ethan to be remembered long after his funeral.

"Just because this may be over, doesn't mean we should forget this little boy and doesn't mean we should forget why we're (walking)," Hansen said. "We're just hoping to raise awareness, because it needs to stop. Maybe this small little step that we're doing today will be a step in the right direction, toward stopping child abuse."

Tyler and Sharleen Patterson, of Salt Lake City, pushed a double stroller with their 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter all the way to the justice center.

"The story really affected us," Sharleen said, perhaps because their little blond son is so close to Ethan's age, "and we wanted to do something about it."

"We really felt connected to Ethan as well," Tyler added. "We empathized with the little guy. He must have been so alone."

On Saturday, hundreds were there for him.

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