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A Mississippi family is mourning the loss of a 6-year-old boy who was fatally shot inside his mother’s car Thursday, after the vehicle he was in was stolen from a parking lot as his mom was shopping for groceries, authorities said.

The child, Kingston Frazier, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the back of his head following an hours-long search, according to the New York Times. Three teenagers face murder charges in his kidnapping and killing.

Before the grim discovery, the boy’s relatives had issued a public plea for those responsible to safely return him. Several family members were overcome with grief upon hearing news of the kindergartener’s death, including his mother, who collapsed and had to be carried away by loved ones, the Clarion-Ledger reported.

Kingston Frazier (Mississippi Highway Patrol)
Kingston Frazier
Mississippi Highway Patrol

“It’s hard to know that people out there are evil, that would kill a child,” Velma Eddington, the boy’s great-aunt, told the newspaper. “That’s evil. That baby hadn’t done anything to him. That baby hadn’t done nothing. They could have left that child on that back seat, asleep. They didn’t have to kill him. Those people are evil. Evil.”

Dwan Wakefield, D’Allen Washington and Byron McBride were arrested and face charges of capital murder, according to the Times. All three suspects are 17 years old.

Dwan Wakefield (left), Tyreek Washington (center) and Byron McBride (right) (Madison County Detention Center)
Dwan Wakefield (left), Tyreek Washington (center) and Byron McBride (right)
Madison County Detention Center

It’s unclear why the car was stolen and whether the suspects knew the boy was inside at the time. Authorities said Kingston’s mother Ebony Archie left him inside the running car as she went into a grocery store at about 1:15 a.m. She told a nearby sheriff’s deputy that her car was missing, but authorities did not immediately know her son was also taken.

The car with the boy’s body was later found abandoned about a dozen miles away, according to the Times.

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