SAN JOSE, Calif. - Family and friends embrace a grieving father as they mourn the death of 7-year-old Liam Husted, who authorities said was killed by his mother.
"He was such a great boy," said Liam’s father Nicholas Husted. "I just want everybody to know that he was amazing."
Liam’s father Nicholas Husted spoke at an emotional vigil at Liam’s favorite park in San Jose Thursday night. It will be two weeks on Friday when young Liam’s remains were found outside Las Vegas. On Tuesday, Liam’s mother was arrested for his murder.
Liam’s father wanted the vigil to be solely about Liam, not the investigation nor his mother. Liam is described as a normal kid with more energy than most, smart, mischievous and full of love.
Mourners brought with them balloons, flowers and pictures of Liam’s unforgettable smile.
"My heart and mind are flooded with grief and pain, and I am living in a nightmare," the grieving father said. "The knowledge that he was taken away forever by someone he trusted is entirely unforgivable."
"The first thing I told him when I saw all this stuff this morning was look how much people loved you," said Nicholas Husted.
Nicholas Husted loved Liam the most. He had a special bond with his son who was autistic. Nicholas is now grappling with Liam’s sudden and tragic death.
"He did not deserve any of that," said Nicholas Husted. "That’s what I wanted him to know was that he was a good boy. He didn’t do anything wrong."
Authorities said Liam’s mother Samantha Moreno Rodriguez killed her son back on May 28. They are not releasing how he died. Liam’s remains were found near a hiking trail west of Las Vegas.
Nicholas Husted said the last time he saw his son was the night of May 23 before Liam’s mother left San Jose with Liam.
"Normally, I’m in bed holding his hand and I didn't," said Nicholas Husted. "These are the type of things I will never get back."
When Nicholas returned home from work, there was a message from Liam’s mother that said she was leaving him and she was sorry she didn’t want to do it this way.
"Liam was a very happy boy, enjoyed life, enjoyed being here, enjoyed this park that’s why we are all gathered here," said Liam’s Godfather Michael Velasco.
Like most 7-year-olds, Liam loved the playground, loved to swim, loved pizza and pasta.
For Nicholas Husted, he loved being Liam’s dad. He said that was stolen from him.
"That’s the hardest part of all this," said Nicholas Husted. "I wasn’t there to protect him."
Part of Liam’s weekly routine at the park, he would run up a hill. Liam’s father ran up that hill on Thursday night in his son’s honor. Liam’s mother was arrested in Denver and is awaiting extradition to Las Vegas.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.