Relative: Boy voiced love after playground attack

August 7, 2014 - 9:35 AM
KILL Child Stabbed-Playground Vigil

A woman carries a cross to a memorial during a vigil for Michael Connor Verkerke, 9, who was stabbed and killed Monday, Aug. 4, by a 12 year-old-boy, who is currently facing a murder charge, in Kentwood, Mich., Aug. 6, 2014. Kentwood Police Chief Thomas Hillen said authorities were still investigating a motive for the attack. (AP Photo/Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — A relative says some of the last words from a 9-year-old boy who died after being stabbed on a Michigan playground were about how much he loved his family.

The Grand Rapids Press (http://bit.ly/1ohUhmF ) reports that Jim Stearns spoke for Michael Connor Verkerke's family at a vigil Wednesday night at the site of the attack, for which a 12-year-old is charged with murder.

Stearns said the 9-year-old told his brother after he was stabbed that he would always love him. Stearns told those gathered for the vigil at the Pinebrook Village mobile home park that the boy's death has left the family "absolutely numb."

The 12-year-old boy pleaded not guilty in juvenile court and was ordered held until an Aug. 13 preliminary hearing. The Associated Press is not naming him.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, http://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids