Kaukauna community works together to support family after child deaths

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KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - Kaukauna's Police Chief says there are no new details to release in the deaths of two children.

It's been one week since William Beyer, 5, and Danielle Beyer, 3, were found dead in a duplex in the 1200 block of Crooks Ave.

On Monday, Feb. 24, Chief Jamie Graff released the following statement to Action 2 News:

"I know many of you would like an update in regards to the incident that occurred at 1201 ½ Crooks Av. in the City of Kaukauna on Monday, February 17, 2020. Unfortunately, I do not have any new information to release at this point. This is still an on-going investigation and our investigative team along with multiple outside agencies are working on the case. I will advise when I can give further information," says Graff.

The loss of the Beyer children is still fresh in the minds of many in Kaukauna.

“I cried, like, really cried real tears like it was my own children," said Attalah Sinclair.

“I mean it’s devastating," said Shari Van Mun. "I have five children of my own and all I can do is look at them and hold them tight."

The community has already created a memorial of stuffed animals and balloons outside the duplex where the children were found, but that show of support is only the beginning.

“Tragic events happen and it’s really up to us to band together," said Van Mun.

Shari Van Mun is helping to organize a benefit for the Beyer family in her capacity as co-owner of The Painted Gypsy Community Art Center. Attalah Sinclair is coordinating an upcoming vigil.

The vigil to honor the children will be held Friday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kaukauna Community Center. Sinclair hopes the vigil will ensure the children are never forgotten.

“Just to take time to grieve and process it. I think a lot of people like myself don’t really feel that it’s real, that something like this doesn’t happen in our community," said Sinclair. "As a community, as parents, you know, we just want to take a moment to honor them for their short life that was cut too soon."

A silent auction benefit will be held Mar. 21 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the old Nicolet School building to help the family cover funeral costs. Van Mun says any extra money will be put into a trust for William and Danielle’s other siblings.

She has been in contact with the family and says they are overwhelmed, but grateful.

“The fact that the community wants to come together and get them through this time and help remember the children, it’s very important," said Van Mun. "Everybody is very supportive of the situation. I mean, it's a tragic situation no matter what you do and these poor angels - we need to come together as a community, Kaukauna strong, and really support that and make sure that things are done right for them."

At Friday's vigil there are arrangements for snacks to be donated. However, Sinclair says donations of bottled waters would be appreciated. She also asks anyone attending to, if they can, wear the Kaukauna colors of black and orange or shirts with "Kaukauna" on them.

Van Mun says they are accepting donations of gift baskets or items for the silent auction. Those can be dropped of at the Painted Gypsy Studio off E 2nd St. or at Focus Property Management, which is located in the Nicolet School building.

Van Mun and Sinclair both hope the community will focus on moving forward together, and will let police do their job.

"They will give us answers as soon as possible," said Sinclair. "Take into consideration that this is really hard for the detectives and officers. Many of them are young with children of the same age or a similar age, and it's traumatic for them, too."

Police say the children were found dead with "intentionally inflicted injuries." No other information was released regarding the cause of death or if arrests are pending.

On Feb. 17, at about 7:10 a.m., someone made a 911 call from inside the multi-family residence. Chief Graff has not said who made that call. During a news conference last week, Graff said "the caller indicated their children needed help."

William Beyer was a student in the Kaukauna Area School District.

Action 2 News will provide updates as we learn them.

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