SALEM TOWNSHIP — The scene of an unspeakable crime is now the source of controversy: where’s the cross that marked a memorial near where a newborn was murdered?
The crime scene in Wayne County was where a man killed his newborn daughter with a cinderblock in 2011.
Within days of the murder, a small cross was at the spot the child was killed and another memorial was set up nearby.
One of those crosses is now gone and some people want to know why.
The memorial just off Route 590 near Hamlin is where many people stop to remember the newborn baby girl killed Memorial Day weekend in 2011.
The baby’s father Christopher Fitzpatrick admits beating the infant with a cinderblock, and covering her body with twigs. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2012.
Now that cross near where the tragic crime happened has disappeared.
“Every time I passed it I said a prayer for that baby Because i knew what happened there and as a mother, bringing a baby into the world you know what that entails,” said Alysha Musumeci of Salem Township.
Authorities say Christopher Fitzpatrick murdered his baby right after she was born in 2011 in Wayne County. He left her body in the woods covered with twigs and the cinderblock he killed her with.
Vito Verni owns the nearby Trio’s Restaurant. He and his son-in-law had a cross made and placed it near where the newborn named Jacklyn was murdered.
Within the past week the cross disappeared.
“A little upset, we don’t know what happened. We got a phone call here asking us to remove it and we were not going to remove it,” Verni said.
The property owner told Newswatch 16 that he has no issues with the memorial being set back here on his property, and neither did the person renting out this building.
“It’s actually kind of nice that somebody did do that.”
Mike Marhelski just recently rented the property where the cross used to stand. He says before he moved in, a woman from a neighboring business asked him to remove the cross.
When he refused, “she said that she was going to remove the cross, but we’re not to say that she did do it. And she’s an employee of ERA there,” Marhelski explained.
We contacted the realtor who wouldn’t speak on camera, but claims she did not remove the cross.
But for the sake of baby who didn’t even live for a day, people near Hamiln just want whoever did take the cross, and the angel that sat underneath it, to return them.
“I hope whoever did it just puts it back.”
“Just bring it back over, leave it on our doorstep,” said Marhelski. “We’ll put it up and we’ll concrete it in this time so nothing like that occurs again.”
Baby Jacklyn would have been 2 years old this past May.