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Vigil held for 3-year-old Olivia Jansen

Olivia Jansen vigil.jpg
Posted at 8:42 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 21:43:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Hundreds gathered Saturday at the corner of South 34th Street and Steel Road in Kansas City, Kansas, to remember 3-year-old Olivia Jansen.

Family, friends and complete strangers hugged and cried over her death. An Amber Alert was issued Friday for Olivia, whose body was found hours later in a wooded area not far from the vigil site.

41 Action News spoke to Ronnie Bray, who claimed he grew up with Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick, Jansen's stepmother. Kirkpatrick currently is on a 48-hour hold at the Wyandotte County Detention Center, along with Olivia's father, Howard Jansen III. Both face potential first-degree murder and abuse of a child charges.

"She’s watched my kid before, probably my daughter was three, four years old and, you know, everything was fine," Bray said, "and just to see this now, it just scared me of what could have happened back then."

RELATED: KCK 3-year-old Olivia Jansen's body found, father arrested

Others who live in the area said they were shocked about the situation.

"I have great grandkids and they are the love of my life," Sharon Savery, who lives near Kirkpatrick, said, "and I don’t understand how anyone can hurt an innocent child like that."

The family is creating a GoFundMe page, and other friends are creating T-shirts and cups to help raise money for the family's funeral costs.