Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Community comes together to remember 2-year-old Kaden Johnson

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CENTRAL - Central residents Melissa Storm and Raymond Shook didn't know each other or 2-year-old Kaden Johnson, but they were both moved by the news of the child's death.

"He didn't die peacefully. He suffered until he died," Storm said. "I can't get that thought out of my mind."

Shook, a cabinetmaker, reached out to Storm and offered to build a wooden cross after Storm posted the idea on Facebook.

"I just wanted to build it in memory of that child, memory of that child when people drive by and see that, that child will not be forgotten," Shook said.

Attached to the cross are things little boys would like, including rubber ducks, dinosaurs, and toy cars. The owner of a local glass shop put a glass cover over Kaden's picture to make it last.

"I took it to Joe's Glass because I wanted his picture to be covered, and Mr. Jody there, he covered it for me. He sealed it, so it wouldn't mess up," Storm explained. "He wouldn't take any money for it. I offered to pay, and he wouldn't take anything for it."

Storm plans to place the cross at the bridge on Central Thruway, where Kaden Johnson was left to die.

There's already a makeshift memorial for Kaden where he was found. Flowers, teddy bears, and a stuffed Mickey Mouse were left to honor his memory.

"And as long as I live, I'm going to make sure his memory stays alive in our community," Storm said.

The memorial cross will be placed on Central Thruway on Saturday at 3 p.m.


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