WAILUKU - A silent vigil will be held in Wailuku this afternoon for 4-year-old Zion McKeown, who died in a suspected case of child abuse last week.
Imua Family Services and Women Helping Women are organizing the vigil, which begins at 4 p.m. Participants are asked to meet at the Weinberg Building at 1935 Main St., across from Minit Stop.
From there, the group will walk to the state courthouse building on High Street for a prayer and moment of silence for Zion.
Police said the boy was unresponsive the night of May 29 when he was taken to the hospital emergency room by his father and his live-in girlfriend. Zion died the following morning.
Police said an autopsy showed the boy died of blunt force trauma to his lower abdomen, "with the injuries most likely coming from someone stomping on him while he was lying on the ground."
His father, Kyle McKeown, 32, and his live-in girlfriend, Grace Lee-Nakamoto, 27, are charged with second-degree murder in the boy's death. They were released from custody Tuesday, with a preliminary hearing for the couple scheduled for July 2 in Family Court.
Dean Wong, executive director of Imua Family Services, said Imua staff work with children who suffer trauma that results in developmental delays, with the trauma often resulting from domestic violence in the home.
"What has happened here with Zion is tragic and our worst nightmare," he said. "We are deeply moved."
Stacey Moniz, executive director of Women Helping Women, said people should know there are options for safety, including the domestic violence shelter run by the agency.
"In Maui County, no child should suffer this kind of brutality, this or any kind of violence," she said. "But it takes us as adults to take a stand for our children and to be their voice. Our goal is to make every home a safe home."