With hugs and words of comfort, the Palm Bay City council voted unanimously Tuesday night to name one of the fields at West Oaks Park “Angels Field” in honor of three children who were murdered last month in their Palm Bay home.
Their mother, 33-year-old Jessica McCarty, remains behind bars on three counts of murder for 7-year-old Laci McCarty, 6-year-old Phillip McCarty also known as “Smash,” and 5-month-old Christopher Swist.
Field number two at the park is where the two oldest children loved to play ball – it was their passion.
"That was their thing. Smash and Lacy were basically on the teams – Smash was for a few years, Laci just started – she actually gave up soccer to play ball with her brother,” said Stan Swist, who is Christopher’s grandfather.
The city’s Parks and Rec Department and the Swist family requested the name change. Palm Bay’s mayor said it’s an honor for the city to be able to help the families during such a difficult time.
Christopher Swist's grandfather tearfully spoke to the council at Tuesday’s meeting. “As far as you guys even thinking about naming the field 'Angel’s Field,' that really means a lot to us and I want to thank you guys,” Swist said.
Some of the council members wiped away tears as Swist spoke.
Mayor William Capote added the city is grateful to be able to help anyway they can. “If this is just something small the city could do to alleviate that grief, more power – God bless them,” said Capote.
The family said the community's outpouring of love and help through a time of indescribable heartache is greatly appreciated.
Christopher Swist’s grandfather said the family is starting a foundation that will allow all children – despite their financial status – to join little league teams, in honor of the three children who lost their lives.