People in the community are reaching out to help a young boy left behind after police say his father killed his mother, then himself.
People are offering gifts, money and support for the 6 year-old son of Kristin Batdorf and Jose Rodriguez-Yera. They're calling Lansing Police, Child Protective Services, the family's church, and even News Ten.
At Lansing's Cristo Rey Community Center, people like Carolina Mox are dropping off presents for the boy, who has a 7th birthday this week. Even though she doesn't know him, Mox feels a special connection with the child. "I am from South America, Columbia. I lived in an orphanage out there. My family, I don't know what happened to them."
Mox delivered the birthday bag full of toys to the Cristo Rey Community Center, where Kristin Batdorf volunteered regularly. She gave free chiropractic services to people who couldn't afford it. Heather Yevseyev, Director of Development at Cristo Rey says Batdorf often brought her son with her as she worked. "He would come and spend time with her here, watching his mom in action, which I'm sure gave him a good sense of the good work that his mom was doing."
Batdorf volunteered at the Cristo Rey Clinic for 10 years. The organization says it's doors are open for people who want to give to Batdorf's son. Yevseyev says, more than anything, the young boy should know how much his mother was loved. "She touched many lives. I'm sure that there are many people who have fond memories of her helping them in their times of need. So maybe they would be able to speak to that and as he's older, and able to look back from a distance, take comfort in knowing that his mom was a good woman who helped a lot of people."
Mox says it makes her feel good to know she can help in some small way. "I just feel really bad for him that he had to go through something like this at such a young age. He's going to be affected by it for the rest of his life."
Authorities tell us the boy is safe in a home with people he knows. A close relative of his mother is due in town soon.