LAPEER, MI — A vigil was held Sunday to raise awareness about child abuse and to celebrate the life of 2-year-old Lily Furneaux-Wolfenbarger, who was killed in November. “Lily would want us to celebrate the two-and-a-half-years that we had her,” grandmother Lynette Furneaux said. The child’s stepmother, 26-year-old Renee King, has been charged with murder, sexual assault and child abuse. Investigators accuse King, who remains behind bars, of raping her stepdaughter and killing her with a blow to the head. King says she is innocent. A delay in forensic testing forced her pretrial hearing to be pushed back to Jan. 24. “She was so beautiful …. just her smile lit up the world and she loved to sing and dance and loved Jesus,” Lauren said.
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By the time you finish reading this, 15 children will have been abused; In the next five minutes, 30 more; Within the next hour, 360 more; And by tonight, close to 8,000+ children will have suffered from abuse, 5 of which will die. Child abuse has increased 134% since 1980 and is now considered a worldwide epidemic. The high jump in child abuse deaths and the shocking increase in statistics highlights the frightening lack of public knowledge.
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