MIDDLETOWN-- Sunday marks one week since the murder of seven-month-old Aaden Moreno.
On Sunday afternoon, dozens of community members gathered to remember at a vigil ceremony for Aaden in Harbor Park in Middletown.
"It's a great sense of loss," said Middletown resident Salvatore Adorno.
Organizers brought 238 roses to the vigil, signifying the number of days baby Aaden was alive. The infant’s body was found late Tuesday in the Connecticut river near East Haddam.
Police say Aaden’s father, Tony Moreno, 21, threw him in the river, then jumped in himself in an apparent suicide attempt.
The dozens that attended the ceremony approached a river bank in the park and ceremoniously threw their roses into the river.
"It's placid, an antithesis of what young Aaden went through, traveling 15 miles down the river," said Adorno.
A printed message was posted on each of the 238 roses, which read "If only for one moment, I held you close to me. If only for one moment your precious smile I did see, then this moment I will treasure. Although we are apart, for in just that one moment. You stole your mommy's heart."
In the aftermath of this tragedy, many have criticized he criminal justice system after Judge Barry Pinkus denied a restraining order filed by Aaden's mother against the father just weeks before the murder.
"I think the day and age of our lassie-farre, letting things go, turning your eyes and head away are gone in Middletown," Adorno said.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page, “Help lay baby Aaden Moreno to rest,” and within 21 hours had raised $23,500 of its $25,000 goal from 864 donors as of Sunday evening.