NEW CASTLE —
Velez and Cynthia Clark, Octavius’ mother, said they are grateful to the community for the concern shown, prayers offered, support and gifts to both families over the holidays.
“Ozzy received get-well and Christmas cards from teachers and classmates and cards that included gift cards, signed only by first names, or signed “Santa’s Elf’,” Velez said. “Friends, neighbors, people from the church and people we didn’t even know — brought meals to the house and sent food.”
The families were also appreciative of contributions from the Cascade of Lights donated by the city, and organizers of the walk at Cascade Park in support of the families.
Cynthia Clark said she is especially appreciative of New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo, the New Castle school district, and police and fire departments who honored her son at his funeral.
“People have been so wonderful,” she said. “People I don’t even know come up, say they’re praying for me and hug me. Through this tragedy we are seeing the beauty of so many people.”
Clark said she is also grateful to the more than 600 people who have signed an online petition to revoke Coonfare’s bond.
“I want justice for my son and for Ozzy,” she said.
Noting that Octavius’ family no longer lives next door to her, Brown said anonymous strangers have left food, gifts, decorations and a six-foot-long Christmas stocking on the front porch of their house. She said she has collected the items and held them for the family.
“I miss them,” she said. “From my kitchen window I could see into their kitchen. I often saw Octavius and his little sisters sitting at the table having dinner or playing out in the yard. I wonder how they’re doing and I miss them.”
Velez said she is keeping a scrapbook for Ozzy including news articles as well as cards and other items received.
“This is all overwhelming for him now, but as he gets older he’ll understand, he’ll see things differently.”
“Everyone has been wonderful,” she said. “We’re just overwhelmed by the attention we’ve received. It’s comforting to know that people are there to catch you if you fall.”