NORTON, Va. - It's a story we've been following from the beginning, back in October the Wise County Sheriff's Department was investigating the death of two-year-old Emma Marie Baldwin. Now her father is trying to raise money to hold a memorial.
People stopped to admire pictures of a two-year-old little girl, Emma Marie Baldwin, at a small memorial set up at a shopping center Saturday afternoon in Norton, Virginia.
Some were dropping off money into a small donation bucket, like eight-year-old Emilee Pettit, "I wanted to be thankful for her."
The little girl's father, Benjamin Baldwin, is hoping to raise enough money to hold a memorial service at the University of Virginia's College in Wise. "She's [Emma] loved by a whole lot of people and they didn't have that opportunity when I held her services with my family," said Baldwin.
Back in October the Wise County Sheriff's Department got a call about Emma not breathing. She was rushed to the Norton Community Hospital, then transferred to Knoxville where she died a few days later.
Now, two people have been indicted on murder charges in her death. Juwan Moore was arraigned on a capital murder charge and two counts of felony child abuse. Emma's mother, Brandi Baldwin, faces one count of second degree murder and three counts of child abuse.
Emma's father hopes his efforts will raise awareness and help other families. "It's very humbling for me to know that my daughter is going to help save a lot of lives," added Baldwin.
Those donating, like Rachel Kennedy, say as a parent it's heartbreaking to see this memorial, "Your heart just bleeds for these people. It's just terrible."
And that's why Kennedy says giving anything she can is her way to help. "Hopefully they can do something where people are able to remember her and it's not easily forgotten," added Kennedy.
Baldwin is hoping to raise about $1,000 for Emma's memorial.
The family has also set up a website with more information about Emma, you can visit it at www.justiceforemma.org.
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