The search for answers in the death of eight-year-old Martin Cobb continued Friday. His distraught mother talked for the first time about the little boy she calls "an innocent child." We're also hearing from those left behind to grieve and comfort his sister.
Thursday night, her assault triggered a tragic chain that led to her brother's death. Now the same community who wept together hopes to come together to heal.
On Brandon Road, Martin Cobb is known as Marty. His mother originally wasn't planning on speaking with us, but came out of the house with photos and toys wanting the world to learn about her son, a little boy who is now called a hero.
Clinging to a picture of her only son, Sharain Spruill swallowed back sobs but the tears spilled out. She'll never be able to actually hold him again.
“Innocent child and he was very happy,” Spruill recalled. “He loved his mama. He's a mama's boy. That's my baby.”
Now, he is known as a baby whose life was taken far too soon after a courageous act. No one in the neighborhood is surprised Marty was standing up for his twelve-year-old sister. The two are described as being joined at the hip. While the eight-year-old was small in stature, he was his sister's brave protector.
“He defend her because I tell him ‘you the man of the house,’” Spruill described. “’You take the ladies’ and he tried to protect his sister and he got killed.”
Police sources tell NBC12 the two were playing near the railroad tracks behind their house when a teen began sexually assaulting the 12-year-old girl. They explain Marty tried to intervene and he was beaten to death. In fact, there is a mark on the ground where his head was, according to sources. We're also told the siblings knew their attacker.
Those close to the investigation say the teen's parents told police he came home Thursday night and asked to be taken to the Tucker Pavilion at Chippenham Hospital where his mental health is being evaluated.
Now, the family left behind on Brandon Road want to know why this happened. As they search for answers through their grief, their deep heartbreak is explained simply in the words of a child, a seven-year-old friend who only wants to tell Marty one thing.
“I miss him,” Keesha Entvminger added.
Right now, the 12-year-old girl is still in the hospital being treated for her injuries. Richmond Police have obtained a warrant for the arrest of a teen in connection with the murder and rape. We're told he also threatened the girl, which is why she originally gave detectives a false description.
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Click here to leave your thoughts for the slain boy: http://bit.ly/1rN1s3G
Family members say both children were students at Elizabeth Redd Elementary school. The boy who was killed was in first grade. His sister is in fifth grade.
Click here to read about a fund set up for the family: http://bit.ly/1fBSNBv