Friends of America Lyden plan benefit for her daughters

Image Courtesy: Stacy Fernandes

A relative of one of the victim's in the Page Boulevard investigation in Springfield is speaking out.

It's been an emotional few months for America Lyden's family.

Lyden's body was discovered three months ago on a Page Boulevard property, but only last Thursday, Stewart Weldon was charged with her murder.

Those closest to America say they are choosing to move forward by supporting America's children. In an indictment by a Hampden County grand jury, 52 charges have been filed against Stewart Weldon, involving 11 victims. Those charges include murder, rape, kidnapping, strangulation, and assault with a dangerous weapon. "Justice needs to be served not just for America, but for the other girls as well. They didn't deserve to go through what they went through," said Angela Rodriguez, America Lyden's cousin.

America Lyden, Ernestine Ryans, and Kayla Escanlante's bodies were found in and around Weldon's Page Boulevard home in late May.

It's a tragic ending Lyden's family says is too painful for words. There is light at the end of the tunnel as those closest to America teamed up to put on a benefit this Friday that will include music, food, and raffle prizes.

The money will go towards getting a gravestone for America and her deceased younger sister. "America buried on her sister's birthday so it's very sentimental. She was also gone too soon and it was a tragic situation," Rodriguez added. The fundraising will also go towards America's two teenage daughters. It's something one of America's best friend, Jonte Lawrence said is what America would've wanted. "She just wanted to give them a better life than she had and if we can help in any way, we will," said Lawrence. The benefit is this Friday at Saint Marks Armenian Church in Springfield from 5 to 9 p.m. Stewart Weldon has not been arraigned on these 52 new charges yet. His attorney said he expects it to take place before the end of the month.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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