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Return to scene of murder took 16 months
Riley Turner’s mother has revealed she finally moved back into the family home last week with her partner and surviving sons.
Sharon Smith had not been able to face living full-time at the house in Harewood Road, Bracken Bank, since Riley was murdered in January last year.
She finally made the decision because Riley’s twin Mackenzie, now five, has been asking when the family can return home.
Miss Smith said she, partner Guy Earwaker and sons Mackenzie and Tyler Earwaker had stayed at her parents’ house for the past 16 months.
She added: “I’ve been going up to our house through the day to get used to being there, then sleeping down here because we couldn’t cope at night.
“McKenzie wanted to go back so I had to go back up. He hates the mess of this.”
Mackenzie will ‘celebrate’ his birthday next week – the second without his brother.
Miss Smith said Mackenzie missed his twin, and repeatedly asked “did that man kill Riley?”.
Riley’s grandfather, Tommy Smith, said: “Mackenzie is coping with things, he’s a strong lad. But he does get very angry.”
Riley’s family told the Keighley News they wanted to thank everyone who had helped them during the past 16 months as they struggled to cope with their loss.
Miss Smith said: “We want to thank everyone who’s helped us along the way – they did so much for us. There were lots of people.
“It was just a community thing, even people we didn’t know.”
Miss Smith particularly wanted to thank Dyan Ryan and Christine Templeton, who organised fundraising in the immediate aftermath of Riley’s death, and local pubs that hosted benefit nights.
Riley’s grandmother, also called Sharon, said much of the proceeds were spent on Riley’s funeral, which included white horses and a Spiderman theme. She said: “He had a lovely day – a proper superhero day.”
A mass of toys and cards from well-wishers still decorates Riley’s grave at Utley Cemetery, and Riley’s name lights up at night.
Keighley Campus joinery students this week provided a plaque with Riley’s name carved out of wood.
Riley’s mother said Worth Valley Primary School, which the twins attended, had also provided valuable support to the family.
Fundraising by fellow pupils helped created a Trim Trail in memory of the little boy who “loved fun and laughter”.
Miss Smith said: “The school has done a lot for Riley and I couldn’t thank them enough.”