Jackson Co. community gathers in support of family whose boy was murdered

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MCKEE, Ky. (WKYT) - It has been a week since five-year-old James Spoonamore was officially reported missing to police in Jackson County.

His body was found in the woods on Monday morning.

Many are still trying to cope with the reality of what happened to James Spoonamore. At a vigil on Saturday night, they remembered his life.

"That smile, it wouldn't matter how bad your day was, you could see that sweet little smile," family friend Jessica Truett said.

That message was consistent no matter who we talked to at the vigil.

Investigators say James was with his mom, Jessica Durham, when police say Lonnie Belt kidnapped them.

State police say Belt beat Jessica and threw her off a cliff on Highway 89, where hikers later found her.

Belt's arrest citation says he admitted getting into an argument with Durham over money, then hit her in the head, tied her up and drove her and her son to the cliff.

Hundreds of volunteers helped search for the boy, where he was found less than a mile from his mom.

On Saturday night, dozens gathered at Bond Memorial Park, lit candles in his honor and said prayers as Durham continues to recover from her injuries.

"If every day of your life you show kindness to each other, what a reward that is to show kindness to one another, to be selfless instead of selfish," Truett said. "Of all the evil in the world, there really is some good and I want people to understand that when they leave here tonight."

Spoonamore's funeral has been paid in its entirety by his community.

The family announced on Sunday the visitation will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20 at Lakes Funeral Home in McKee. The funeral will be at the same funeral home on Thursday, September 21 at 1 p.m.

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