Vigil held in Cleveland to remember 5-year-old boy

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A vigil was held Thursday evening to remember five-year-old Jordan Rodriguez.

Mourners gathered outside the home where police found human remains in the backyard earlier this week.

“Those days that he was buried all I could think about was he was cold, you know? He was cold,” said Jenny Lopez, a friend of a family.

Lopez and other friends organized a vigil after Larissa Rodriguez was charged with murder Thursday for the death of her son, Jordan.

“I really don’t have any words to say to her because it hurts,” said Stephanie Schultz, who has known the family for more than 15 years.

Despite a long history with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services, friends are shocked at the charges.

“I don’t know how to take this, you know? The baby’s gone and when I found out, I passed out; I was hurting really bad,” Lopez said.

People remembered Jordan as a lovable child with special needs.

“He was like the sweetest thing you could ever meet,” Lopez said.

“This just broke my heart. It just ripped my heart apart because I used to see him at the corner store and give him change or buy him candy; it’s just devastating,” said Charity Barber, a neighbor and friend.

Community members ended the vigil promising each other they won’t let another child slip through the cracks.

“I’m glad that the neighborhood noticed that, you know, we could be a village; we could help each other so I’m grateful for that,” Lopez said.

Cleveland police were tipped off that a child was buried behind a home on West 80th Street. That's when the boy's mother was taken into custody.

On Tuesday, investigators recovered human remains.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office has not officially identified the body. According to court documents, the remains showed signs of abuse, including broken ribs.

**Continuing coverage**