The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 23, 2013

Police arrest 2 teens in Ga. baby killing

(Continued)

"I feel glad that justice will be served," West said. "It's not something I'm going to live with very well. I'm just glad they caught him."

West said detectives showed her mugshots of about 24 young men. She pointed to one, saying he looked like the gunman.

"After I picked him, they said they had him in custody," West said. "It looked just like him. So I think we got our man."

West said she thought the other suspect looked much younger: "That little boy did not look 14."

The slaying happened around the corner from West's apartment in the city's Old Town historic district. It's a street lined with grand Victorian homes from the late 1800s. Most have been neatly restored by their owners. Others, with faded and flaking paint, have been divided into rental units like the apartment West shared with her son. The slain boy's father, Luis Santiago, lives in a house across the street.

A neighbor dropped off a fruit basket and then a hot pot of coffee Friday as a friend from the post office dropped by to comfort West.

Santiago came and went. At one point he scooped up an armload of his son's stuffed animals, saying he wanted to take them home with him. He talked about Antonio's first birthday on Feb. 5 and how they had tried different party hats on the boy.

"He's all right," Santiago told the boy's mother, trying to smile. "He's potty training upstairs in heaven."

West said her son was walking well on his own and eight of his teeth had come in. But she also mourned the milestones that will never come, like Antonio's first day at school.

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