Saginaw community pays tribute to boy who was killed, brings awareness to child abuse

Elijah Dillard died on March 1st. Police say his father burned and beat the six-year-old to death.

Friends and family of a Saginaw boy who was killed came together to celebrate his life and bring awareness to the problem of child abuse in our community.

Elijah Dillard was only six years old when he died on March 1st.

Police say his father Aki Dillard is facing child abuse and murder charges. He is accused of burning and beating Elijah to death. The boyâ??s mother, Mio Campbell, is also facing child abuse charges.

Elijah would have turned seven years old on Friday.

On Thursday, his extended family and friends held a birthday party not only in his memory but for other kids in the neighborhood as well.

â??Elijah died a horrible, horrible, horrific death. Child abuse has been swept under the rug for so long. We're trying to raise awareness,â?? said Elijahâ??s Aunt, Tatanesha Dillard.

The family started the Elijah Dillard Elite Warriors basketball team to pay tribute and give kids a safe place to play.

They hope events like this bring people together and help put a stop to child abuse.

Elijah's aunt says the trial is scheduled to begin on July 1st.