[Original publication date: September 4, 2004]
Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to assist in family’s funeral arrangements…
A national support group for sexually abused children held a candlelight vigil Thursday to honor three slain children from York County in South Carolina.
Several people holding candles participated in a service the National Guard Armory. It was sponsored by Silentlambs (silentlambs.org), a support group for abused children in “religious institutional settings.”
The Meza family were members of the Rock Hill Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The children — Jayro, 5; Denise, 8; and Denia, 14 — died Aug. 9 before a fire engulfed their home. Authorities say they were slain by one of their parents — Marbely or Jose Denis Meza — who died in the fire.
Denis Meza had been arrested three weeks before on charges he molested Denia. York County Coroner Doug McKown said she’d also been raped within five days of her death.