Tears and smiles at Madera’s John Well’s Youth Center as family and members of the community come together for the dedication of the Thaddeus Sran playground in Centennial Park.
“It will be a constant reminder of the precious life of Thaddeus Sran and a pledge as a city that we will never forget him,” said Mayor of Madera Santos Garcia.
Nine days after toddler Thaddeus Sran disappeared in June of 2002 his burned body was found in an orchard just outside Madera.
Thaddeus’ parents, Sukhjinder and Briseida Sran, were arrested in connection with the disappearance and death of their son.
They both plead guilty to manslaughter charges. Briseida Sran was sentenced to 28 years in prison while her husband Sukhjinder was sentenced to 11 years.
Organizers say now is a time to remember the innocent life of Thaddeus who was taken too soon.
“And if you look at the picture… And you look at that beautiful little face the life that is there it just touches you in the heart,” said Madera Police Chief Dino Lawson.
Robert Luna, president of the warriors of faith, a church on wheels says he remembers every moment riding his bike searching for Thaddeus.
“We were going through back alleys, we were combing the blocks we were going in some of the areas not a lot of people were allowed to go on,” said Luna.
With today’s park dedication part of Thaddeus will live on.
“Now Thaddeus will touch and be able to play with the children of Madera every day he will be there in the playground everyone will stop by and see the beautiful memorial,” said Chief Lawson.
The grandparents of Thaddeus did not want to talk on camera but said they are grateful for the outpouring of love from the community.