Family of Oliver Hitchcock brought to tears by emotional vigil in Sheboygan Falls
SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Sheboygan Falls community honored the life of eight-year-old Oliver Hitchcock on Sunday night.
Oliver was allegedly killed by his mother, 41-year-old Natalia Hitchcock, in their apartment on March 30. A criminal complaint states Natalia told police she suffocated Oliver and tried to drown his 11-year-old brother. Court documents allege Natalia, who is from Russia, was worried about the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. In the criminal complaint, a witness stated that those worries may have affected her mental state before strangling Oliver.
Now, community members hope to cast a positive light on Oliver's life with a special vigil. It's a moment Oliver's Uncle, Eric Hitchcock, is grateful for during such a dark time for their family.
"How an 11-year-old is going to react to his mother trying to kill him and losing his brother and going through a divorce and losing your mom, it's just so much. This vigil was amazing. We appreciate the support and the people who organized it," said Hitchcock.
Heather Masterson is one of the people who organized the vigil. She, along with so many other's, just want to keep Oliver's name alive.
"I have children the same age as him and his brother so it hit home a bit as if something happened to my child. And just showing our support remembering him in a positive way instead of a negative way of the news of what happened. Instead of being that boy who was assaulted by his own mother, we would rather remember him in a positive way."
It's a way comfort dogs and the heart of mercy and compassion at the vigil hope to help with.
"It's something that comes along with the dogs. It's another way that we can hopefully leave an impression with someone. People from the community can sign it and it will be passed along to the family to know we stand behind them and support them," said Becky Kilvinger, Top Dog with Charity Comfort Dog with Lutheran Church Charities.
It's support Oliver's family says he provided to others in need, by donating organs.
"He saved three to four lives with his organ donation. It's a difficult process... you walk the child down to the operating room to give your organs. As you walk down, they line the halls... sorry it's just so sad. I was happy he was able to give his organs so three to four other kids can have a better life," said Eric Hitchcock.
Oliver's 11-year-old brother released purple balloons into the sky in honor of his brother's memory.
The judge ruled there is probable cause for Natalia Hitchcock to undergo a competency evaluation ahead of her trial. Her defense requested the competency evaluation and the state agreed. She is due back in court on May 9, 2022.
Oliver's uncle says his funeral is scheduled for a week from Tuesday in Missouri on April 19. He asks for the community to think and pray for his family during this time.