A Claremore child was laid to rest on Friday, after his step-father is charged with his murder. A blow to the stomach killed 4-year-old Christopher Barnard five days ago.
The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports his biological father is really trying to keep it together.
Floyd Moore says now is not the time for his grief, but time for him to speak up, now that his son can't.
In just about every picture, there's always a smile on Christopher Barnard's face. But behind those laughing blue eyes, it now seems there were tears, signs of pain that went ignored.
"There was cries for help that we didn't realize," said Moore.
Police say his step-father, Steven Lockler, admitted punching the 4-year-old twice, because he soiled his pants. Lockler is now behind bars charged with first degree murder.
Moore says ten days before his son was killed, the boy said something that haunts him.
"He, uh, he was like I don't want to go home," said Moore. "I never thought it, it was a cry for help. And I feel so bad that I didn't realize his cry for help."
Moore admits he never saw a mark on his son and he's not always been in Christopher's life, but he says the boy meant everything to him.
"My son was taken. I love him dearly. And I'll always miss him. And I hold him in my heart," said Moore.
Now Moore, who says he didn't heed the cries for help, is now acting as a voice for Christopher and others like him.
"His life has been sacrificed for the voices of these children. And they will be heard," said Moore.
Moore says one agency he wants to listen is DHS. He says he knows DHS was aware of the abuse allegations against Lockler. But he says there was never enough proof.
Instead of blaming the agency, he's calling for more support for its case workers.
"What's it going to take to wake America up? To wake the government up? That we need funding to save these children's lives?" said Moore.
After the graveside service, Moore and some of the funeral party went to the DHS office in Claremore for a prayer. Moore says they were kicked off the property. But he vows to keep fighting for child abuse victims.
A march against child abuse will be held Monday in Claremore at the NeMar Center.
05/01/2008 - Man Charged With Murder In Step-Son's Death
04/30/2008 - Babysitter Had Concerns Over Boy's Safety
04/29/2008 - Neighbors Speak Out On Child's Death
04/28/2008 - Man Arrested In Child's Death