Community gathers to sing happy birthday in memory of Kamari Russell
PUBLISHED: 12:41 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:50 14 March 2019
An Ipswich community has gathered in their hundreds to mourn the passing of Kia and Kamari Russell - singing a chorus of happy birthday on what would have been the youngster's third birthday.
Hundreds got together at Whitton Recreation Ground on Wednesday evening, March 13, to show their support for the family and friends of Kia, 19, and her son Kamari, two, who were found dead at their home in Swinbourne Road on Wednesday, March 6.
Organising on social media to meet at the park at 7pm, the crowd quietly gathered, laying flowers at a memorial and sharing memories.
Once the crowd had formed, they joined in a tearful chorus of happy birthday in memory of little Kamari, who would have turned three that day.
Fireworks were also lit during the commemoration, with buckets going around to collect donations for the family.
A friend of Kia, who wished not to be named, said: “It is amazing to see so many people come out for this. It is a big turnout in support of two beautiful angels.
“With all the bad things that have gone on, it shows the strength of community.”
Another friend said: “She meant more to people than she knew, Kia was so loved. She was so beautiful. She had a smile that could light up a thousand cities.”
Another mourner, who was helping to collect donations for the family, said: “It is just heartbreaking.
“I am really pleased how many people have come out in support.
“To be honest, I expected the community to come out like this tonight. When we come together in Whitton we really come together.”
Police were called by the East of England Ambulance service at around 5pm on Wednesday, March 6 to reports that a woman’s body had been found.
A young boy was also found at the property and was treated by paramedics but died at the scene.
In a statement, Suffolk police said Home Office post-mortem examination, carried out on Tuesday, March 12, concluded Kamari died as a result of compression to the neck and that his death is being treated as murder.
A spokesman added “Kia Russell was also determined to have died as a result of compression of the neck, pending further tests. Her death is not being treated as suspicious at this time.”