Seekers of justice support 2-year-old who died last week, suspect heads to court

Organizers are showing support for Malakai Garrett, 2, after he died last week.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Family, friends, and even those who didn’t know 2-year-old Malakai Garrett were pitching for justice Tuesday night.

About two dozen people gathered at Headwaters Park and marched to the Allen County Courthouse. There they used sidewalk church to cover the area in the hashtag “JusticeforMalakai.

Malakai died last week, according to Fort Wayne police. Emergency crews were called to a home in the 6900 block of Palmetta Court Nov. 29 after a report of a child not breathing. Court records, which includes the autopsy report by the Allen County Coroner, said Malakai died of severe internal injuries that, “were consistent with that of multiple blows and strikes from a closed fist punch.”

Police eventually arrested 27-year-old Mitchell Vanryn. He was formally charged Wednesday in Allen Superior Court with murder related to young Malakai’s death.

Those that gathered to chalk messages of support for Malakai said they want the community to know they want justice. Several organizers said having children of their own prompted them to support Malakai’s family.

Court records indicated Malakai was cared for by his mother, but Vanryn – identified as the mother’s boyfriend, was with him the night he died.