Hundreds honor short life of Bartow baby beaten to death - CBS46 News

Hundreds honor short life of Bartow baby beaten to death

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CARTERSVILLE, GA (CBS46) -

It was an emotional day for family and friends remembering a Bartow County baby beaten to death last month.

About 200 people gathered outside the Bartow County Courthouse in Cartersville to walk the streets in honor of 1-year-old Journey Cowart.

The show of support from family, friends and so many other people who never knew Journey moved the baby's paternal grandmother to tears. "I'm always overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support for a child no one knew," said Mellodie Hunt. "And it amazes me that we can come together in a tragedy and do something positive."

Everyone at the walk wore purple shirts that read "Justice for Journey," the color purple for child abuse awareness.

Walk organizer Tabitha Nolam hoped the event would let others in Bartow County know child abuse is unacceptable. "Hopefully [the event] brings awareness to child abuse in a small town. To show the town that we won't stand for this."

The walk started at the Bartow County Courthouse, where Journey's mother and her boyfriend could face a judge one day, both accused of beating the little girl to death on Jan. 21.

"She can't speak, she can't tell anyone what happened to her. So we're here to represent her and get her justice," explained her grandmother.

Autopsy results show the baby endured repeated abuse over several months, including blows to the head, the stomach and ribs. She had just turned 1 year old 10 days before she was killed.

Bartow County sheriff's deputies arrested Journey's mother, 25-year old Brandy Boyd, and her boyfriend, 25-year old Austin Payne, just days after the girl died, first charging them with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. But they upped the charges to felony murder after the results of the autopsy indicated the baby died from blows to her small body.

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