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Neighbors mourn the death of Seneca Falls toddler

Local News

In front of the apartment of Panagiotis Stephanides-Vacchino, known as Peter, is a growing memorial in honor of the toddler neighbors will never get to see grow up.

“We knew he was here and we wanted him to be a part of our community, and we wanted his parents, but obviously our pleas were left in the dark,” said neighbor Ben Fox.

The entire Hunter’s Run townhome complex gathered in prayer and song.

“I don’t know what went on in that apartment, I don’t want to think about it,” Fox explained. “All I know is we were out here with open arms ready for little Peter and, uh, that’s the kind of people we are.”

“The point is a life was taken, and it affects these people here,” said Father Roger Barto, who delivered remarks and Thursday’s prayer service. “It also affects the law enforcement that’s dealing with it. they had to be here and work the crime scene, and there’s still a lot of stuff they’re going through.”

Though that may not go away any time soon, the community members say at least they have each other. 

“These are amazing people. Although we do not have some of the greatest things in life, we’ve been through great pain and great hardship, but what comes out of that is we all have great coping mechanisms for something like this,” Fox added. “We’ve helped each other heal.”

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