Crime

Neighbors remember 2-year-old boy: 'Child abuse needs to stop, we don't need one more'

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Family members tell KSN the 2-year-old boy who died Sunday is Tony (Anthony E. Bunn). His grandpa says he was full of character and loved his family and motorcycles.

He was found unresponsive Friday morning in west Wichita. Sunday officials announced the toddler died from injuries to his head and neck. 

The boy's mother and her boyfriend were originally arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder.  But just this morning, that charge was amended to first-degree murder, adding a child endangerment charge as well. 

People in his neighborhood say they are heartbroken about Tony's death. So much so, that it pushed one woman to make a sign for her front yard with a message she hopes will reach many.

Shari Harpenau says when she heard about the young boy injured across the street, she felt an urge to take action.

"I wanted to make a sign and put it in my yard I felt so helpless," said Shari Harpenau, Wichita.

The white poster with carefully tied blue ribbons and words, she hopes, will spread awareness and possibly help the most vulnerable.

"It has stop child abuse not one more, and I left that out all day yesterday," said Harpenau.

And over time, the sign for little Tony has gained attention. Harpenau says several neighbors have asked about it, who are also upset about the circumstances surrounding his death.

"Everybody is very sad, I think everyone is very, very sad that this is continuing to happen in this city," said one neighbor.

As the sign continues to attract the attention of people passing by, Harpenau says the boy's death is bringing people together.

"That was this afternoon when I got the news," said Harpenau.

She started a memorial for Tony by his home, and says it's continued to grow from neighbors adding to it. She says that this and her sign are here to stay for Tony and others.

"We have Evan Brewer, we have Lucas Hernandez and now we have this new little guy to add on to the list, unfortunately and it seems like it's such a problem and it I don't know where do we start to end this," said Harpenau.

She hopes that by creating this sign and being outspoken about this incident, that will help spread awareness about child abuse.


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