Remembering Athena

Unity amid tragedy
May 25, 2013



They spoke of a common sentiment of loss, but also of a community united amid tragedy.

“We’re here for them, we support them,” said Cheritta Newell, who helped organize a candlelight vigil Friday evening at Washington Park gazebo in downtown Sandusky.

About 50 people showed up to support the Castile family, whose youngest member, 11-week-old Athena Castile, died last week after she was stabbed multiple times in a Dewey Street home.

The infant’s accused killer, Denzel Castile, 19, was her cousin. He remains in a psychiatric hospital, although he is charged with aggravated murder.

Friday evening’s group lit candles, prayed and, at times, shed tears for the loss of a life so young.

Newell said she organized the vigil in hopes of showing Athena’s family that they are not alone in their struggle.

The Rev. Clifton Jones, of Agape Love Ministries, encouraged the community to push forward, but also to strive for betterment.

“We are a community that can bounce back from this,” Jones said. “This beautiful baby has not been forgotten.”

Sandusky police Chief John Orzech was joined at the vigil by officers from his department, as well as a handful of Sandusky firefighters.

Orzech, newly appointed as the city’s chief, told the crowd he and his department will do all they can to heal the wounds and eventually move forward. 

“The fire and police departments are behind the families,” Orzech said.

A second vigil is scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Tuesday in Norwalk, at Suhr Park on Main Street. Athena was the daughter of Janisa Castile, of Norwalk.



My prayers go out the castile family.


and what good does that do, specifically? Is god holding a popularity contest? I mean, does the level of comfort he/she/it provides to the family commensurate to the # of prayers he/she/it receives for the family? If nobody prays for them does god give them less comfort?

If not, then why waste time on prayers which have never been proven to do a single thing?

Just asking a logical, objective question and hoping for the same type of answer.


Actually, prayers ALWAYS accomplish two things: The prayer feels better, like he's done something to help; prayer also often proves cathartic. And the person being prayed for feels better because somebody cared enough to pray and, as a result, they feel less alone.

If that's the WORST case scenario, what are you complaining about?


For thousands of years, people of various religions have used the power of prayer or devotions or whatever the specific religion has a name for, to try to offer a comfort to themselves in the face of something negative. People want ,in general to feel a connection to a higher power in their lives, mainly for the purpose of having some control in their lives in an uncontrollable world. When someone prays or practices devotions, there is an energy that is released. Everything has some type of energy and pretty much everything is connected and balanced. If you choose to release positive energy, such as what is used in religion when praying, then you are balancing out some of the negative that was released.As a result, you draw positive energy into your life. Now, if in general, say you are a cruel and vicious person, then that is what is drawn to you.Some people call it Karma but actually that's not an accurate definition of Karma. Now, if I remember a few years ago, there was a study done that said that people in general have a predisposition to worship a higher power than ourselves-we're actually wired for it in our genes. So, in general, even if there no immediate measurable result from the prayer, there is a comfort factor involved.


My prayers go out the castile family.


Prayers go out to this family & friends.


Why? Have any blind studies been done to test whether people know if someone else is praying for them? or against them for that matter?


They have done medical testing on the brain and it does show differences in the cerebral cortex. But don't let any debates ride in this comment forum. Just send your condolences and prayers please.

entitled to my ...

My heart and prayers go out to this family! It was a very compassionate and kind gesture to see the Chief of Police, John Orzech, and some of the Sandusky Police Officers at this vigil showing their support to the Castile family.
I can't look at the pictures of beautiful Athena without crying. May she rest in peace in the arms of Jesus!


This is the kind of "lively" debate that occurs on moderated message boards. Instead of everyone engaging in the USELESS ineffective act of PRAYING, aka mumbling best wishes into thin air, how about suggesting ideas and then taking action on said ideas to stem the BLACK VIOLENT CRIME EPIDEMIC in America?

Part of the problem is that blacks seem far more desensitized to violence than the rest of America.



HELLO? You think PRAYERS save one single life?

If you people REALLY CARED about blacks, you would do something to stop the senseless excessive bloodshed that predominantly affects blacks as both offenders and victims of murder and violent crime


Our prayers go out the castile family and we also pray for you SuspectBlackMale.


If you really cared, you'd stop bashing people for praying for this family who has been struck by tragedy.

On ALL of these articles, you have posted the same thing WITHOUT any suggestions of your own to help stop the "senseless excessive bloodshed that predominantly affects blacks". So, let me ask, what are YOUR suggestions to help with this problem? Stop typing the facts and start a movement yourself! Why are you waiting for someone else when you are obviously passionate about fixing the problem??


Nobody is engaging you because they respect your right to your opinion without belittling your opinion. Shame you don't return the favor.
God bless this little one

art dew...

What's your deal? This family has enough to deal with and you're on here causin trouble n bashing ppl who say they support them. My prayers do go out to this family and this beautiful child that lost her life. Please do us all a favor and grow up quit terrorizing these ppl. Your negative comments and attitude aren't needed. Thank you SUSPECT and have a wonderful day

Edwin Ison

92% of people who post "thoughts and prayers", never pray.


This was an article about people honoring the memory of an innocent little girl! There should NOT be any negativity! RIP little Athena!


Prayers to the family

Kottage Kat

Count me in the 8% that do
Thank you and God bless


RIP sweet baby. May you rest in the arms of the angels. ( religion is needed for angels)


Even though suspectblackmale is ETREMELY annoying, he raises some good points. However, SamAdams raises even better counterpoints. It can't hurt to pray!


RIP little Angel