KEARNEY, Mo. - Under the flicker of candlelight Sunday, friends and family of 4-year-old Lucas Webb gathered to say goodbye to the little boy who died too soon. But they were also looking for answers.
According to court documents Lucas Webb told somebody that his stepmother, Melissa Webb kicked him in the stomach several weeks ago. Investigators say Lucas was kicked a second time 12 to 24 hours before his death.
His stepmother Melissa and his father Justin Webb are behind bars, facing second-degree murder and child abuse charges.
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More than 100 people gathered to pray for Webb at Jesse James park in Kearney, Mo. They hope the little boy has found salvation in a place where he's safe from harm.
An autopsy revealed Lucas' ribs were fractured and separated six to eight weeks before he died.
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Laurie Rogers, a family friend, said she does not understand why it happened.
"How can you kick a child," she asked. "If you're jealous, mad or whatever, how can you do it?"
Court documents paint a horrific picture, indicating that the boy told someone back on Aug. 24 that his stepmom kicked him in the stomach, and that she was angry with him at the time.
Now, those who knew the family best are angry that nobody came forward.
"I'm looking around this candlelight vigil and I'm thinking about all these people that were involved in Lucas’ life and wondering why couldn't anybody see it, and now that he's gone, everybody cares,” Rogers said.
Shanna Crocker was Lucas' babysitter. She said she never noticed any problems.
Crocker said she was close friends with the Webb family, but hadn’t watched Lucas and his stepbrothers since New Year’s Eve. She said Sunday’s event was about bringing awareness to suspected child abuse.
"If you feel like you’re angry and you want to hit your kids, go for a walk, and call a friend. Do something. But for god's sake leave the babies alone," Crocker said.
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