"I'm always going to wonder what his first word would be," West said.
Beverly Anderson, whose husband owns the property where West has lived for several years, said she was stunned by the violence in what's generally known as a safe neighborhood where children walk to school and families are frequently outdoors.
Jonathan Mayes and his wife were out walking their dogs Friday, right past the crime scene, and said they've never felt nervous about being out after dark.
"What is so mind-numbing about this is we don't have this kind of stuff happen here," Mayes said.
It's not the mother's first loss of a child to violence. West said her 18-year-old son, Shaun Glassey, was killed in New Jersey in 2008. She still has a newspaper clipping from the time.
Glassey was killed with a steak knife in March 2008 during an attack involving several other teens on a dark street corner in Gloucester County, N.J., according to news reports from the time.
"He and some other boys were going to ambush a kid," Bernie Weisenfeld, a spokesman for the Gloucester County prosecutor's office, told the AP Friday.
Glassey was armed with a knife, but the 17-year-old target of the attack was able to get the knife away from him "and Glassey ended up on the wrong end of the knife," Weisenfeld recalled.
Prosecutors decided the 17-year-old would not be charged because they determined that he acted in self-defense.
Sabrina Elkins, the sister of the older suspect in the Georgia baby's slaying, said Friday evening that she believed her brother was innocent of the charges. She didn't know whether he had a lawyer.
"He couldn't have done that to a little baby," she told AP. "My brother has a good heart."