Dozens of people gathered at a central New Jersey park this weekend to honor a toddler who allegedly was killed by her father.
About 100 people attended the Friday night vigil for 2-year-old Tierra Morgan-Glover. It was held at Shark River Park in Wall, where her body was found Tuesday by some children playing at the site. They notified park rangers, who alerted police.
The toddler was still strapped in her car seat when she was found partially submerged in a creek that's 3 to 7 feet deep, near a roadway overpass about 15 feet above the creek. Authorities have declined comment on whether they believe the girl was thrown from a vehicle into the creek, or whether she was carried into the park and put in the water.
An autopsy conducted by the county medical examiner's office determined the cause of death as "homicidal violence, including submersion in water."
Monmouth County prosecutors have filed murder charges against the girl's 27-year-old father, Arthur Morgan III of Ocean Township. He remained at large on Saturday afternoon, despite a dragnet involving 13 law enforcement agencies including the FBI.
Authorities believe Morgan fled the state after killing his daughter -- who lived in nearby Lakehurst with her mother, Imani Benton -- shortly after he picked her up for a court-approved visit on Monday. It was his first time seeing the child in a month, and Morgan was supposed to return the girl to her mother on Monday night.
Benton was among those attending the vigil and was visibly distraught throughout the event. She had to be physically supported by other attendees and repeatedly cried out "she was my baby girl" during the vigil.