Baby Halo remembered in prayer vigil

South Bend, Ind. A large group gathered for a vigil Thursday for baby Halo Stutzman, the four-month-old girl who investigators say died in the hands of her father.

Friends and family members, including the child's mother attended the ceremony in front of the home where Halo spent her final days.

"It really hits you in the gut. It really does," said South Bend resident and participant Reynaldo Hernandez.

On July 10, the infant suffered skull fractures, massive brain injury, bleeding behind the eyes and bruising on her body, according to medical personnel.

Her father, Bryan Michel, 22, has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent, resulting in death.

The vigil was organized by On-Site Prayer Ministry, a group that shines light on violence in St. Joseph County.

'It keeps the light on for the community to know that there are people concerned outside of the immediate neighborhood outside of the immediate family," Vigil organizer Michael Elliott said. "They are concerned about the violence going on -- whether it's gang related or spousal in nature -- or in this case a young child that has died."

Some community members delivered their own prayers and intentions for the baby, even those who never met her.

"How can you not care about every violent death in the community?" Hernandez said. "Whether you're close to the family or not and especially when it happens to a small child it's doubly tragic."

Michel is due back in court Friday. His trial is currently scheduled for November 12th.

There are currently two benefit events planned for August to help support Halo's family.

A benefit picnic has been scheduled for August 17 at Bendix Park. That address is 300 S. Delorenzi in Mishawaka, and the picnic is scheduled to last from noon until 6:00 p.m.

There is also a silent auction and concert of local artists planned for August 8th at the Office Lounge.

The Halo Memorial Benefit account has been set up at 1st Source Bank. Donations will go to the family.


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