KNOX, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A community continues to grieve three years after a young boy was murdered by his cousin.
A vigil was held in honor of Kenneth White on Monday. Organizers hope they can help save future children.
Not a day goes by where Dawn Gibson doesn’t think about him.
“He was a sweet, little quiet boy,” she said.
Kenneth, 5, was a friend and classmate to her two boys. He was killed on December 18, 2014.
“I cried,” Gibson said. “There was nothing else I could do.”
Kenneth’s cousin, Tiffany VanAlstyne, was convicted in his death. She was babysitting him that night. Police said she strangled Kenneth and tossed him over a fence into a ditch.
It was a horrific moment in the quiet town of Knox.
FULL COVERAGE: KENNETH WHITE TRAGEDY
“It’s horrible,” Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. “This is something that will stay with you forever.”
Apple was one of the first people on the scene. He joined dozens of others at the vigil – even in the face of cold and rainy weather.
“Just goes to show you the love in the community and what Kenny meant to everyone up here,” he said.
Apple said the tragedy could have been avoided.
“This was a horrific incident that was totally preventable and the system failed,” he said.
That’s why Kenneth’s Law was passed. It allows investigators to now have quicker access to confidential information for statewide child abuse cases.
Organizers for the group Kenneth’s Army said the law could have made a difference three years ago, and they believe it will save future children.
“We can’t allow this to continue. Somewhere along the way, somebody needs to stand up and say not one more child.”
Kenneth’s Army said it’s their mission to help other children in need. They’ve already raised money for several kids to help with things like school supplies.
By doing that, they believe they are keeping Kenneth’s memory alive.