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Community comes together for Asher Dillworth

By Dan Lampariello
By dlampariello@wbbjtv.com

ADAMSVILLE, Tenn. -- Many members of one West Tennessee community turned out Thursday for a vigil, all to raise awareness for child abuse.

Just two weeks ago, investigators said Asher Dillworth, 4, lost his life to child abuse in Adamsville.

"It's very tragic that something like this can bring a community together," Adamsville Mayor David Leckner said. "Hopefully as a community we can grow from this, we can learn and accept it."

Dozens showed up to Adamsville City Park Thursday, for a vigil sponsored by the McNairy County Carl Perkins Center. Their goal is to make people more aware of child abuse in the community.

"It's so important to report child abuse," Callie Forman with the Carl Perkins Center said. "You don't have to know for sure that it's going on, but it's just very important. If you even suspect it, we are the voice of children and we're supposed to report."

Ron Boyd lived next door to the house where 4-year-old Asher. He now said he will be keeping out a closer eye.

"As we look back over it, there were some signs and some signals that we'll now know more in the future," Boyd said.

111 blue balloons were launched into the sky during the vigil, representing how many cases of child abuse the Carl Perkins Center has seen in the past year.

"Children going through abuse, we give to them," Forman said. "We do parenting classes to help the parents also."

Overall, community members said although they may not have know Asher, he has brought out the best in many people.

"It's heartbreaking," Mayor Leckner said. "Like everyone else here, we've all cried a lot thinking about that poor little boy, that I never even met."

Although most of the people in this community did not know Asher or his family, they still came out to try and make sure a child's life is never cut that short again.