After the tragic stabbing death of eight-year-old Thomas Kossow, allegedly at the hands of his own mother, a family member is speaking out to thank the community for its support.
Misty Halterman-Ahrens spoke to the press Thursday afternoon. Her full statement is as follows:
"Thank you for being here today. On behalf of our families, we appreciate the community's support.
When Thomas walked into a room, it lit up with his bright smile. He was actually kind of shy, but when he was around other kids in the neighborhood, he was very outgoing.
When he was younger, we used to call him 'Thomas the Train'. With his red hair and blue eyes, some of his teachers liked to call him 'Howdy Doody'.
Thomas enjoyed school and loved race cars, Matchbox cars, and Lightning McQueen.
Thomas and his dad were best friends and were constantly by each other's side. They were a regular family leading regular lives.
We support Thomas' father, brothers, and sisters as they struggle to cope with what has happened.
We are very grateful for the community's outpouring of support. Friends have set up a website for donations and an account at Associated Bank. People we don't even know are holding fundraisers to help us pay for memorial expenses and rebuild the family's lives.
As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family. Some of us are still too much in shock to truly process what has happened. Tomorrow will be a hard day.
Our family won't be speaking with the media tomorrow. We're speaking to you today with the respectful request to let us grieve in peace tomorrow for our lost cousin, son, grandson, brother, friend and classmate...as we send him on angel wings up to heaven.
We will lovingly bury Thomas with his Lightning McQueen pillow and blanket that he slept with every night.
We love you, Thomas."
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WREX. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Trista Truesdale at (815) 335-7856. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.