Crime

Sonora vigil Friday will honor Waterford toddler. ‘We need to just hold each other up.’

Watch protest over boy’s death investigation

People protest Monday near the Stanislaus County Coroner's office in Modesto, Calif. Family and supporters have been waiting for a report on the death investigation of 23 month old Koltyn Sparks-Blackwood who died in Tuolumne County in January.
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People protest Monday near the Stanislaus County Coroner's office in Modesto, Calif. Family and supporters have been waiting for a report on the death investigation of 23 month old Koltyn Sparks-Blackwood who died in Tuolumne County in January.

A vigil will take place in Sonora on Friday, May 17, for Waterford toddler Koltyn Sparks-Blackwood. He died Jan. 15 from injuries that police say were inflicted in the foothill town.

The event will start at 6 p.m. at Courthouse Square, at North Washington and West Yaney streets in downtown Sonora.

The vigil comes three days after the Sonora Police Department said Koltyn died from blunt force trauma to his abdomen, shaking and possibly smothering. He had been in the care of a babysitter on South Shepherd Street and died after being air-lifted to UC Davis Children’s Hospital in Sacramento.

Koltyn was the son of Nicole Sparks of Waterford and Joshua Blackwood of Oakdale.

No arrests have been made. Police said the Sonora babysitter was not a family member, but no other details have been released.

Family and friends held protests in Sonora last week and Modesto on Monday about the pace of the investigation. The latter was at the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office, which contracts with Tuolumne County.

The vigil organizers ask people to bring balloons and small stuffed toys for a display at Courthouse Square. Live candles are discouraged for safety reasons, but battery-powered LED lights are fine.

“Time for people to gather and share grief and love,” said a post on Kolytn’s Facebook page. “We have been gathering in protest and demanding answers. Now we need to just hold each other up and take a moment before we start the next part of this horrible journey.”

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