SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A Harrisburg teenager was laid to rest Wednesday, a week and a half after police say he was shot and killed by a registered sex offender.
It was a tough day for the family, but once again, they had the support of dozens of friends and family to not only remember but celebrate the life of 16-year-old Kyan King.
King’s siblings remember him as smart, sweet, and with a boisterous laugh.
“It takes a village not only to care for children, but it takes a village to mourn our children,” said Angela Ulen, supervisor and funeral director at Hooper Memorial Home.
That’s why the Harrisburg community has rallied around his family in the days since his death.
“The support in the community has been overwhelming; their love, their kindness, their generosity has been very uplifting to this family.”
“The service was very beautiful. They really did a very good job,” said cousin Shera Hewitt.
Annie Govan says her sons were best friends with King and so the families became close too.
“It is very hard because I just lost a son last year in August and everywhere I went they went,” Govan said.
However, Govan takes comfort in the happy memories mentioned at the service.
“I can’t imagine the loss right now and just our whole team in the Harrisburg School District is hurting but we’re here to support the family. That’s why I’m here,” said Chris Celmer, acting superintendent for the Harrisburg School District.
King would have been a sophomore this year at Harrisburg High School.
Celmer says the district is just one of many support systems his mother can lean on.
“We’re here after today for whatever she needs and whatever we can do to try to support, no matter how small it may seem,” Celmer said.
In the wake of King’s death, Dauphin County will host a virtual community forum on child abuse and sex trafficking Thursday night, Sept. 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
“The entire community is stunned and outraged by this horrific tragedy,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III, who oversees the county’s Children and Youth Services agency. “Child abuse and rape are difficult topics to discuss, but we need to come together and do better for our children. If you see something or suspect abuse, report it.”
Panelists will include:
Marisa McClellan, Esq., Administrator, Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth
Terry Wealand, Captain, Harrisburg Police Department
Steven Turner Esq., Harrisburg Area YWCA
Dr. Dawn Crosson, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist
Ausha Green, Harrisburg City Council, Oversight of Public Safety
Angela Liddle, President/CEO, PA Family Support Alliance
Jen Gettle, Chief Deputy District Attorney, Dauphin County
Moderated by Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III
Additional comments will be made from Angel Fox with State Rep. Patty Kim’s office and Charla Plaines with C.A.T.C.H.
“The statistics on child abuse, and more recently, sexual abuse, are downright sickening,” said Board Chairman Jeff Haste. “Recent studies show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.”
To join the virtual community discussion,
Join OfficeSuite meeting https://meeting.windstream.com/j/1111903662
Enter Meeting ID: 111 190 3662
Dial +1 646 741 5292
Enter Meeting ID: 111 190 3662
“We stand ready to end child sexual abuse wherever and whenever we see it,” said Commissioner Mike Pries. “To victims of abuse, we are here to help.”
To report suspected child abuse, call Dauphin County Children and Youth at 717-780-7200 or the State Child Abuse Hotline, which is available 24 hours/7 days a week, at 1-800-932-0313.