NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - At a vigil for a 14-year-old Hermitage boy, family, friends and neighbors remembered his gentle spirit.
"Sayeed was the kindest, sweetest, gentlest child," Donald Neilson said. His son was 14-year-old Sayeed Neilson, remembered for his smile.
Friday, his mother and stepbrother called police to tell them he was dead.
"I was conned and duped," Neilson said. He recalled being told a similar story to what police originally got. "I was called and told he had fell [sic] and hit his head, and that wasn't the case at all."
Police later determined that story was false and arrested Sayeed's mother and stepbrother for murder.
"I got here, and I saw the police cars. I just dropped to the ground, and I just screamed," Neilson said.
Police said Sayeed was beaten to death by his stepbrother, David Matheny, while his mother, Rebacca Greenwood, watched. "He didn't deserve this, and it breaks my heart, truly," his best friend said at Monday night's vigil. "It just hurts."
"I just always want him to be remembered as a kind and gentle soul that loved everybody," Neilson said, "just loved people."
Dozens of people at the vigil left candles, flowers and teddy bears on Sayeed's front porch in Hermitage, joining each other in singing 'Amazing Graze.’
Greenwood and Matheny are scheduled to appear in court today at 12:35 p.m..