WARTBURG (WATE) – A Morgan County community is demanding justice for a toddler who died last month. 17-month-old Levi Beaty died June 1 at his mother’s home in Wartburg.
He was being watched by his mother Amanda Beaty and her boyfriend, Roger Dale Prince. Authorities say Prince wasn’t allowed to be around the child due to prior abuse. Beaty and Prince say Levi choked while eating a cookie, but several officials and first responders dispute that.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. Two of Levi’s babysitters tell 6 News they saw signs of abuse, and one even had officers check on Levi less than two weeks before he died.
“He was a little baby, he should have been protected and he wasn’t,” said Levi’s babysitter Cyndi Wicks.
She watched him a few weeks before he died. When the Department of Children’s Services called her to see how he was doing, she told them something just wasn’t right.
“Bothered I would say, maybe seemed bothered. You never heard him cry, you would see him cry, but you would never hear that baby cry. It’s like he was afraid to cry. He was 16-months-old when I was keeping him and he was by no means your normal 16-month-old baby,” Wicks said.
Now, Wicks is helping run the ‘Justice for Baby Levi‘ Facebook page.
“We just try to generate more and more members to where we have more people and a louder voice because we want justice for Levi,” Wicks said.
Organizers are asking people to put up blue ribbons outside their homes or businesses to show their support.
“Get a blue ribbon, if you can’t get a blue ribbon get a blue light bulb, turn your porch light on, let’s light up East Tennessee at least,” said organizer Kandy Bingham.
“I understand it takes time, it’s just like it’s not fast enough. We just really want justice for him and I’m sure in time it will come,” Wicks said.
Friends and family are also planning two vigils for Levi. The first is in Cleveland on July 26, and another will be in Wartburg August 2.