Community members have planned a bench dedication ceremony and memorial service for Sherin Mathews.
On Saturday, Dec. 30 at 3:00 p.m. at Restland Funeral Home, following the memorial service, a bench dedication and dove release will take place.
The space has been landscaped and provided by Restland as a place for the community to reflect and honor Sherin.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, an Amber Alert was issued for 3-year-old Sherin Mathews after her adoptive father, Wesley Mathews, called police and alerted them of her disappearance.
At that time, Wesley told police he took his daughter, Sherin, outside at 3 a.m. on Saturday to discipline her for not drinking her milk. According an affidavit, he told her to stand near a large tree in the backyard. When he went outside 15 minutes later, his daughter was gone.
Sherin's body was found a few weeks later in a culvert nearby the Mathews' home.
David Turnblad, a amily service counselor at Restland said he was impacted Sherin's story and knew he had to do something to help with the bench dedication.
Turnblad met a man named Gene met through the Nextdoor app. Gene had the bench but needed a place to put it.
"The thing that I really like is that Richland Park is a very diverse neighborhood and this crosses all the religious cultural lines, they've all disappeared," Turnblad said. "It's about the community."
Turnblad said it's not about money, its about recognizing the impact that this has had on so many people's lives.
Mike Wilfong, the community outreach director for Restland said he's happy to be apart of this dedication process.
"People haven't had that chance or opportunity to get together and start that process to begin to come to terms and move toward healing," he said.
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