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Funeral plans set for Ethan Stacy

Posted - May 17, 2010 at 4:18 p.m.


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LAYTON -- Funeral plans have been set in Virginia for 4-year-old Ethan Stacy.

It's been one week since Stephanie Sloop reported her son missing, but the emotion is still very raw for residents of the apartment complex where they lived.

Stephanie told police Ethan had wandered away from their apartment at the Layton Meadows complex in the middle of the night. But her story quickly began to unravel, revealing a violent death for Ethan.


One of my grandchildren is 4 years old. I just look at her and I think, how could somebody do that to a child or allow that to happen to their own child?

–Lucinda Martin


As investigators closely examine evidence in the case, a community continues to try to make sense of the tragedy.

"We dropped off a balloon and he, Brecken, brought one of his toys for him," said Jennifer Schiller.

She and her 4-year-old son Brecken didn't know Ethan. They don't even live in the apartment complex where police say he spent his last days.

But they've paid their respects there more than once, usually at Brecken's request.

"He's just talked about him and said ‘We could have been friends. He's with Jesus now,'" Schiller said.

While the community and people across the country continue to mourn Ethan's loss, seven different law enforcement agencies are now involved in his murder investigation.

That group includes FBI agents, who a source close to the investigation tells us are carefully examining electronic evidence -- Nathan and Stephanie Sloop's cell phones, computers and pictures.

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Meanwhile, organizers are putting together a "Walk for Justice for Ethan Stacy." The event, a 10.5-mile, one-way jaunt from the Big Lots behind the Layton Hills Mall to the Davis County Jail in Farmington, is set for Saturday.

"People here want justice served," Lucinda Martin of Harrisville told KSL NewsRadio Monday. "It's not a protest at all, it's just a show of support for his family and his loved ones."

Martin has been deeply affected by the case since news of it broke last week.

"One of my grandchildren is 4 years old," she said. "I just look at her and I think, how could somebody do that to a child or allow that to happen to their own child?"

Already dozens of people have committed on Facebook to attending the event. Organizers expect potentially dozens to hundreds more.

It's part of a larger groundswell of online support for the boy. The "Justice for Ethan Stacy" Facebook group was approaching 47,000 members Monday afternoon.

Participants of the walk are asked to wear white shirts and to be prepared with warmer clothing in case it rains. Walking back is optional. Martin says some may choose to ride FrontRunner on the return trip to Layton, since a UTA station is nearby in Farmington.

Back at the Layton Meadows apartment complex, what started as a few flowers and stuffed animals now spreads across the sidewalk and up to the Sloop's apartment, the place Stephanie told police Ethan died. Neighbors have started to pack away the hundreds of toys, flowers and balloons for Ethan's father, Joe Stacy, who lives in Virginia.

All well wishes for a little boy and father who most of them never knew.

Andrea Bliss lives at Layton Meadows. "I think it was just kind of a final goodbye. It means something to everybody," she said.

Funeral arrangements have been made for this week.

A visitation and memorial have been scheduled Tuesday in Grundy, Va., for Ethan. His funeral is Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time) at the Clinch Valley Memorial Cemetery.

------

Story compiled with contributions from Jennifer Stagg and Andrew Adams.

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