PARMA, Ohio (WJW)– The family of 5-year-old Jax Ponomarenko gathered for a vigil Monday night.
The event, which included song, prayer and sweet memories, took place at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Loya Parkway in Parma. His brother led the crowd in a singing of “The Wheels on the Bus,” Jax’s favorite song.
“Dear Jax, you were the best brother I could have ever had… When you were gonna grow up, I was gonna teach you how to play baseball, basketball and video games… I always picked with you and played with you and ran around the house with you,” said Dominic, Jax’s brother.
Jax was killed at his home on Russell Avenue in Parma on Thursday. His father, 31-year-old Matthew Ponomarenko, called 911 and told dispatchers he killed his son and that he heard voices. He’s charged with aggravated murder and is being held without bail.
“To say that he was a special little boy is true, but it is also not enough. It doesn’t even show the surface of Jax and what a great kid he really was,” said one of his teachers at the STEPS Academy in Parma.
His uncle recalled how much Jax looked forward to bedtime cuddles from his grandma.
“He would look at you and it made your heart melt, and you felt the love and innocence beaming from him,” said his uncle. “Jax was a beautiful ray of sunshine that loved his family… Dancing, singing and he never stopped smiling and his laughter filled the house.”