SAN ANTONIO — On Friday the San Antonio community said its final goodbye to young James Chairez, the baby whose remains were discovered in May at the west-side mobile home park where he lived with his mother.
Funeral services were held at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church. Mariesol Benavidez, James's great-aunt, said it was her way of honoring his short life.
"Who wants to bury anybody, much less a child? James to me means a lot. He was like one of mine. I didn't see him as my nephew; I saw him like one of mine," she said. "So yeah, it's hard. It's hard to think that this is how I'm going to have to say goodbye to him. But I've got...lots of good memories with him."
The baby's remains were released to his relatives last month. He and his mother, D'Lanny Reaneille Chairez, initially went missing in March, sparking a search. D'Lanny's aunt later shared video in which the mother could be heard saying she had put James up for adoption, but when investigators later qustioned her, she was silent in regards to her son's whereabouts.
D'Lanny Chairez was eventually charged with abandoning or endangering a child as authorities turned the focus of their investigation to her. A few weeks later, remains found at the family's trailer were identified as young James.