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Mourners gather at Mound library to honor Eli Hart

The 6-year-old was allegedly shot to death by his mother and put in the trunk of a car a week ago.

MOUND, Minn. — Community members came together Friday night to mourn Eli Hart.

The 6-year-old's body was found in the trunk of a car one week ago in Mound and his mother is charged in his murder. 

A vigil to honor Hart's memory was held Friday night behind the library in Mound.

Two community members organized the healing event that dozens of people attended, including Hart's father. 

"I just can't even understand how that could happen," said organizer Chris Foley. "It's a very sad situation...what happened to get people to come together."

Court documents show Eli's mother had deteriorating mental health and other red flags that led child protective services to take the boy more than a year ago.

Social services recently recommended closing the case as Eli's father worked to get custody, and until then, his mother was the only caretaker. 

The boy known for his big smile, who wanted to be a firefighter, Eli will now forever be a member of the local department after a helmet was dedicated in his honor.

"It is a horrific tragedy that is incomprehensible," said Mound Mayor Ray Salazar. "Incomprehensible especially for our small town."

The mayor recognized the raw emotion that still fills the small town that was surrounded in the power of music, people and prayer to uplift a family, who may have lost something, but gained an entire town of support. 

Eli's family says there is another vigil on Saturday, May 28. It starts at 1 p.m. in Randolph at the elementary school. They say it is open to anyone who was touched by Eli's life. 

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