GRIMES, Iowa - Many people and few words were present Sunday evening in Grimes at the home where 2-year-old Mason Wyckoff was found dead Friday, along with his mother, 33-year-old Stephanie Erickson, who was unresponsive.
Mason's father, Dillon Wyckoff, was present at the vigil but left the speaking to his cousin, Meg Viola.
"I'm very thankful. Dillon needs all the support that he can get right now," Viola said. "A lot of times, the fathers are overlooked, and I feel like this is the best way that we can get the story out and hopefully save more children in the future."
Friends and family are calling for action when it comes to intervening before it's too late to save a child. One family member told the crowd if they suspect a child's life is in danger, to act, rather than wait. Wyckoff told Channel 13 Friday he believes Mason's mother, Erickson, is responsible and even had made several threats to him in the past.
At Mason's vigil Sunday, however, there was barely any room for anger or hate; friends and family chose to focus on remembering the positive life of the child, instead. Blue balloons were released into the sky, representing his favorite color.
"It's been overwhelming, the amount of people who have shown their support via Facebook, the news stations, everything - it's been so overwhelming and so wonderful. It's unfortunate circumstances, but it's really nice to see that people who don't even know you still care," Viola said. "And I think that's the most important thing right now - is that everybody support us."
Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced Monday. A fund for the family has been set up through the Financial Plus Credit Union.