ARUNDEL – Ethan Henderson’s mother called her son “our special angel in heaven” at an informal memorial service held Saturday outside the house where the 10-week-old was fatally injured a week before.

A little more than a dozen people, mostly family members, lit candles and signed a balloon that they released around sundown.

Ethan died Tuesday from brain injuries, allegedly suffered when his father, Gordon Collins-Faunce, picked him up by the head, squeezed it and then threw him into a chair on May 5.

Collins-Faunce has been charged with depraved indifference murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and assault. He is being held at the York County Jail.

Saturday’s ceremony focused on the baby.

“We all miss him, but at least we know right now he’s not in pain,” said Christina Henderson, Ethan’s mother. “Even though he was a little baby, he touched our hearts.”

When Henderson displayed photos of the baby, there were none that included Collins-Faunce.

The family allowed reporters to observe their ceremony but did not permit interviews.

According to court papers, a day care worker reported suspicions that Ethan, his twin brother, Lucas, and the twins’ half sister, Neveah, 3, were being abused.

She said that Neveah had shown up at the day care center “covered in bruises” and the two boys were sick but were apparently not being treated, according to the court papers.

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services has refused to provide information on the case, including when that report was received and what, if any, action the department took in reponse.

Collins-Faunce told police he also broke Ethan’s arm when the baby was a month old, saying he was frustrated by the difficulty he was having changing the child’s diaper. He initially made up a story that the baby’s arm was broken when he picked Ethan up from his crib and didn’t realize that the baby’s arm was caught in the rungs.

Ethan apparently was treated for that injury by several doctors, but it’s not clear if any of them suspected abuse and reported it to the DHHS, as they are required to do by law.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: [email protected]

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