By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver woman is working to make sentences stricter for offenders convicted of child abuse or even child death.
“I just really want to make awareness,” said Crystal Hunt. “My family is a victim and it’s not just one person, it’s not just my daughter, it’s not just Jonathan, it’s my whole family.”
Hunt’s grandson Jonathan Munox-Bilbrey died from brain bleeding and other head trauma in November of 2017. The suspect is awaiting trial in Missouri. Hunt says her daughter had recently moved to Joplin to escape Denver’s soaring cost of living.
“Jonathan would have been 4 in January and I can’t say enough he’s just a big ball of light,” Hunt said. “He would have went to this school next year and that’s why I chose this school to do the pinwheel garden.”
There are now signs outside of Cheltenham Elementary School in Denver demanding justice for children who have been killed. On Friday, volunteers joined Hunt to place blue pinwheels outside the school and pass them out to parents. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“People that are going through this, you don’t want to ask for help, you know, that’s the hardest thing, to reach out to people; especially the people you don’t know and trying to find the means. It’s the mental, it’s the physical, every day I wake up crying. How do you deal with that? When I’m missing a part of me,” Hunt said.
Ideally, Hunt wants to open a treatment facility to help families dealing with loss associated with child abuse. First, she’s gathering signatures to push for stricter laws.
“My big ultimate goal is to pass a petition to get harsher sentencing guidelines to keep these child murderers in jail longer. Society needs to know we need to hold up on those laws and we need to keep them there,” Hunt said.
She’s also planning a benefit on Saturday, April 22nd. You can find out more information about the Stop Child Abuse cruise and BBQ event here.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.