Community members use social media to seek justice for 11-month-old Mercedes Lain
PLYMOUTH, Ind. --- Community members have been relying on social media posts throughout the entire search for Mercedes. While the tragic outcome was not what they were hoping for - they are now hoping to make some good using it.
“I felt like I, I had to do something with how close I am and I wanted to show her that she is loved," said Josie Allen, Memorial Organizer.
It’s been 2 days since Josie Allen put together a memorial at the intersection of 1025 E and 50 N in Starke County, in honor of Mercedes Lain.
The tribute made for the 11-month-old doubling in size within 24 hours - as community members come together to pay their respects for a little girl who was lost too soon.
Many have been following the search for Mercedes in a Facebook group called ‘Where is Mercedes Lain?’ - since the news of her death Thursday morning residents are now using the page to seek justice.
“This little baby seeing her precious face I think and it just it really sucks I mean it. We were at 3,500 members and in less than 48 hours," said Katelyn Warner, Facebook Group Founder and Vigil Organizer.
Warner who’s familiar with helping solve Silver Alert cases says she created the group in the hopes of bringing Mercedes home safe.
Now she and other group members are hoping to bring some good from this tragedy with the creation of a non-profit in Mercedes’ name.
“You know people want to see change. They want to seek you know justice and it’s informing them you know you wanna help children. So there’s you know connecting the community with ways that they can help and use that energy in a positive way," said Warner.
As moms of young children both Allen and Warner hope this incident make others aware of the need to speak up if they suspect a child is being abused, but for right now they want to continue being advocates in their community to help keep Mercedes’ memory alive.
“We’re gonna be packing all this up tomorrow and taking all this to the candlelight and giving it to the family. They said that they really appreciated it and it’s a memorial isn’t really first thing on their minds right now so I was glad I was able to start it for 'em," said Allen.
There will be a candlelight vigil starting at 8 pm Saturday in Centennial Park and community members have also started a petition with the hopes of holding Marshall County DCS responsible for negligence in this case. You can sign that petition here.