‘Wear blue for Ariana:’ A birthday celebration for baby who died gruesome death
The family of baby Ariana, the girl prosecutors said was sexually assaulted and killed by her mother's boyfriend, will remember her on her birthday Friday.
"We want to celebrate her life by asking family, friends and strangers from all over to please wear something from the movie 'Frozen' or that color blue for this precious baby's birthday," family friend Teri Susan wrote in a Facebook post on a page for the event.
The event is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on Friday at the Barnegat Docks. Anyone who can't be there in person is asked to send a picture for a collage of pictures.
Ariana's cousin, Destiny Hughes, who is helping Susan to organize the event, told New Jersey 101.5 so far about 700 people have responded to say they're going to wear blue or wear an item from the hit Disney movie.
"She knew almost all the songs even though she was only 2 years old," Hughes said.
Michael Disporto, 22, of Manahawkin was charged Thursday with the first-degree murder of Ariana by Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo. The girl's mother, Amber Bobo, 26, was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Colalillo said.
Authorities say after Disporto sexually assaulted the child, Bobo found she was badly injured — but repeatedly succumbed to pressure to Disporto not to seek medical care for Ariana or otherwise make her injuries known.
The child was eventually transported to Cooper University Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a subdural hemorrhage and cerebral edema, requiring immediate brain surgery, according to a probable cause statement in the couple's arrests. The baby had bilateral bruising and swelling to her labia, a complete fracture of her right humerus, bilateral pulmonary contusions and urine and blood in her abdomen.
Ariana's father, Rob Smyth, continues to mourn the loss of his daughter and is "no condition to talk, according to Maria Randlemrandle, the manager of Big Timber Lake Camping Resort in Cape May where many members of his family work.
On his Facebook page, which is filled with pictures of Ariana, Smyth posted that he was thankful for the support given to his family.
"My world, my life my everything was Ariana Taylor Smyth who loves everyone that has been in her life. She was an amazing baby and has made me the person I am today. Just want everyone to know that she really loves everybody that was in her life and she appreciates the love and support that everyone has been showing me and my family," he wrote.
A GoFundMe page continues to collect donations for Ariana's funeral. Ariana died last Tuesday at Cooper University Hospital.