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Las Vegas community candlelight vigil held in memory of Amari Nicholson

The community gathered to remember Amari Nicholson.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:18 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Today marks one year since the body of 2-year-old Amari Nicholson was found after he was reported missing a week earlier.

In front of the Emerald Suites off Paradise and Twain Avenues, a small group of people gathered to remember Amari Nicholson. People brought candles, balloons and stuffed mickey mouse animals.

Amari Nicholson was last seen at the Emerald Suites on May 5, 2021. His body was found a week later on the May 12, 2021. He lived at the Emerald Suites with his mom and her boyfriend Terrell Rhodes. After lying to investigators for a week, Rhodes confessed to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

An arrest report said Rhodes beat Amari when he wet himself before hiding his body. Court records showed Rhodes drew a map for police where Amari’s body was hidden on the Siegel Suites property less than two hundred yards away from the Emerald Suites.

Melissa Reliford helped organize tonight’s vigil.

“It still feels fresh. We still have a lot of emotions attached,” Reliford said.

She volunteered to help look for Amari.

“It impacted me. We started volunteering with Nevada Child Seekers when this all started so we got involved more and more trying to find children and help out,” Reliford said.

Those that live and work nearby stopped to pay their respects including Raquel Davenport who works at the Speedee Mart next door. She remembers what work was like a year ago today.

“Everybody was crying it was just an emotional day. Emotional day on Paradise and Twain,” Davenport said.

Jared Dawkins brought his two-year-old son Jerimiah and newborn son.

“It broke a lot of peoples hearts including mine and also he looked like my son and kids are near and dear to my heart,” Dawkins said.

He named his newborn Amari so his name could live on.

“I took this to heart and still today I do. And like I said Amari’s name is still going to live through my son,” Dawkins said.