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Boy honored as candlelight vigil unites community

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By Scott Harvey, Brad Kellar

Greenville – Dozens gathered Tuesday night in Greenville to remember the life of two-year-old Brandon Herrera, an alleged victim of abuse found dead Sunday.

Authorities have charged Herrera's caregivers, 23-year-old Arturo Vega and 22-year-old Gabriela Ortiz, both of Campbell, with murder.

Pastor Steve Lawson spoke of hope during the event.

"We know that there are times when we can't really come up with the reasons why. We know this; death may have taken Brandon from this world but we know that God has taken Brandon from death. And he is with him now," Lawson said.

A tearful Britney Peters, one of the event organizers, expressed her appreciation to the community members present.

"This type of love and respect is exactly what [Herrera] deserves. And as he looks down from heaven where he is now safe, he knows that there are people that love him and honor him. It shows what kind of community we live in, where love and compassion far outweighs the evil among us."

Meanwhile, Hunt County authorities have released the 9-1-1 tape made moments before Herrara was found.

A noticeably shaken Ortiz tells a dispatcher "I was watching this little boy, he's been staying with me, and he stopped breathing."

In fact, the sheriff's office says Herrera had been dead for some time. Ortiz and Vega remained in the Hunt County Jail as of Tuesday each on $2 million bond.