DELMAR: Family, friends say goodbye to autistic boy

Police said Edwin Tirado, 35, and Nadeem Mall, 32, both of Schenectady, transported Jonathan for up to 90 minutes before reporting his death.

"We have forgiven them both from our hearts, that's what the Scripture says to do," said Michael. "We love them and we're praying for them and we ask that you pray for Edwin and Nadeem, too."

As part of the funeral service, attendees were asked to the pulpit to share their memories and thoughts about Jonathan Carey.

Most who spoke said they were comforted by dreams and thoughts they had of Jonathan in a place where he could talk, play and ride horses, one of the boy's favorite things to do.

A woman who had previously cared for Jonathan at the Carey home said she too forgave the offenders but at the same time pointed a finger of blame at the state's mental health care system.

"I have frustration for a system that failed this couple for 13 years,'" she said. "Nobody should have to go through what this family has been through."

Family friend John Moritz, who with his wife is a founding director of Hearts of the Father Outreach, a program that works with abandoned, abused and orphaned children, said, "Jonathan Carey is a hero."

The Carey family has helped in Moritz's efforts, and Moritz held onto the same hopes that the Careys have in the wake of Jonathan's passing.

"Through his death," said Moritz, "many children will find help and many parents will find hope."

When Jonathan was first diagnosed as mentally retarded at an early age, both Michael and Lisa said they struggled to come to terms with his disability,

Despite the limitations with which he lived his life, in death, his parents said, Jonathan can do a world of good for others.

"Even though we couldn't understand why Jonathan had to suffer with autism, we could not have loved him more," said Lisa.

PHOTO CAPTION: Michael Carey, in doorway, follows his son's casket as it is loaded into a hearse Wednesday outside Delmar Full Gospel Church in Delmar. (John McIntyre/Spotlight)


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