vigil, hawk newberry, sadie alvarado, muscatine

Community throws vigil for two young lives lost

MUSCATINE, Iowa-- A grieving community gathered at Riverside Park in Muscatine to honor two young lives lost.

"It could be anybody at anytime it just really hit close to home and made me think," said Shanyna Stone. Stone helped organize this event.

They originally started planning  back in July after two-year-old Hawk Newberry fell into the Mississippi River near Schweibert Park. His body was found in Muscatine a few weeks later.

That same day, Sadie Alvarado was found in Lee County. Police say her boyfriend left her on the side of the road after she jumped out of his car during an argument.

"They were found on the same day. Sadie was from here so it just kinda made sense to include her family in the memories," said Stone.

The whole community was hit hard by the news. They didn't want either loss to go unnoticed, putting together candles, prayers and even torches on Brown's Island where Hawk was found.

"We've just been doing as best as we can to get everybody down here together to show these families our support," said McKaya Justos. Justos couldn't help but think of her own children when she heard the news.

"It warms my heart for the families that all these people came to show their support in this time of tragedy but it was definitely unexpected," said Stone.

They hope this helps both families heal knowing they have the community to lean on for support.

"We hope they know there are people standing behind them. I can't imagine the pain that they're going through and I can never put myself in their shoes but I want to support in anyway that I can," said Stone.