It will feature a balloon launch.
An event to remember Robert Ethan Saylor is scheduled for Sunday, May 12th at 3:00 PM at Pinecliff Park. The memorial on Mother's Day will include a release of balloons to remember the New Market man, who died earlier this year. He had Down Syndrome.
"It's actually to remind people, especially the Saylor family, that we haven't forgotten Ethan, and that we're pushing for an independent investigation of the case," says Stephanie Holland, the event's organizer.
Part of the memorial will include a balloon release. "It will be the first Mother's Day that his mother's had to go through without him, and I wanted to do something uplifting," says Holland, who will release blue and yellow balloons, the Down Syndrome awareness colors. Those attending can also sign a guest book. A picnic pavilion is available for anyone who wants to bring along a lunch or a snack.
Saylor, 26, died in January following a struggle with sheriff's deputies at a movie theater at the Westview Promenade. The management had asked the deputies to remove Saylor because he refused to leave after the movie was over, or buy another ticket. Authorities contend that Saylor refused to leave when asked, and cursed at deputies. During the struggle, Saylor had a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy ruled Saylor died from asphyxia, and the cause of death was homicide, that is at the hands of another person.
The deputies were moonlighting for the Westview Promenade at the time of the incident. They were placed on administrative leave, but were cleared after a grand jury reviewed the case and decided not to indict them.
Holland says she is pressing for an independent investigation into Saylor's death. "I don't want to point fingers because there are so many questions that don't have answers," she says. "That is my point. That we still need an independent investigation. There are so many things we don't know."
Holland also has a 26-year-old son who, like Saylor, has Down Syndrome. "I'm afraid for my son. I want to know what I can do to make sure situations like this never happen again," she says.