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Family Holds Vigil for 8-year-old boy

PEORIA - A community mourns the loss of who some are calling "the ideal kid."
PEORIA - A community mourns the loss of who some are calling "the ideal kid."
At 8 p.m. Thursday, a candlelight vigil for Marquail Johnson, 8, took place outside of the 700 block of Western Avenue - where authorities found his body earlier that morning.
More than 100 people gathered with candles outside of his parent’s home, which sits only a few houses away from where the boy was found. The crowd, led by his mother, walked to the spot of the vigil in a very emotional scene.
Family members tell WMBD 31 News that Johnson was outgoing and well like in the community. He loved to play outside and his nickname was “Deacon Johnson.” The name derives from his love for the church and his frequent impersonation of the pastor.
"He was a wonderful child, always smiling. Everyone called him ‘Deacon Johnson’ because he was faithful in the church," said Chaquona Greenley, Johnson’s aunt. "Thank you to everyone for coming out and supporting us. It was a beautiful thing you know. It's terrible that something like this has to happen for people to come together, but it was really beautiful and we are really grateful." 
"That little young boy that died could have been my son,” said Tammy Proctor of Peoria. “And even though I don't live over here in this particular area, it affects the whole community."
Johnson would have become a second grader at Trewyn School next week. District 150 Public Schools will provide counselors at the school Friday, Monday and Tuesday during regular school hours.
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