I'm trying to put my thoughts into words about Brandon. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be!  Like tearing a scab off a wound!  

Brandon was born July 12, 1997. He was a beautiful baby, dark hair with almond shaped eyes, a trait of many of the children in our family. He was the first grandchild on both sides and much adored. 

MarkHe grew into a happy, chubby baby. His room was full of little matchbox cars and he already had a favorite NASCAR driver at the tender age of 2!  Mark Martin was his "man of choice" and he affectionately referred to him as Mark Mark. Brandon loved Blue's Clues and watched many a video of his favorite Blue dog. 

Brandon wasn't alone for long. His little brother Hunter was born 3 months prematurely when Brandon was only 7 months old. Miraculously, little Hunter survived and as he grew, he and Brandon became best buddies. 

Life changed for the boys when their mommy and daddy ended their relationship. It was at this time that Matthew Lilly came into the picture. He was good at pretending to care about the children and no one knew the monster that lurked underneath.

After a few months of courtship, Matthew Lilly moved into the boys home. He became the caretaker while Brandon's mommy worked. It was at this time that things began to happen. Brandon fell off of his tricycle (according to Matt) and broke his arm. Little bruises began to show up but was explained away by " little boys roughhousing". 

On April 8, 2000, Brandon's mommy, Billie, left for work. It would be the last time she saw her son alive.

What happened that day remains a mystery. The boys would be the only ones to witness the horrible murder. Brandon would be left to die and Hunter, still a baby, would be unable to tell what he had seen. 

As Billie's day at work ended, Mr. Lilly asked a neighbor to come over and watch the boys, so that he could pick up Billie. He stated that Brandon was napping in an upstairs bedroom, so they only had to be concerned about Hunter. 

After running some errands, they arrived home. Billie put Hunter in the highchair to eat, and called up the stairs for Brandon. When he didn't respond, she went upstairs to get him. What she found will be forever etched in her mind. Brandon was on his bed, lifeless with his eyes open, his face a mass of bruises. She immediately screamed at Matt to call 911 and she began CPR. 

The EMTs continued to work on him and transported him to the local hospital. They never were able to get a heartbeat. Mr. Lilly tried to explain away the facial bruising by saying that Brandon had fallen in the bathtub but the police weren't buying it. They took him into custody right from the hospital. 

The autopsy report completely devastated the family. Brandon had in excess of 55 injuries to his little body. His spine was crushed, he suffered severe trauma to his abdomen and he had numerous bruises all over his body. When found by his mommy, he had already been dead for about four hours. 

Mr. Lilly has never admitted committing this murder. He was charged with Brandon's murder with the death penalty specification. Because there were no witnesses, the evidence was considered circumstantial and he was allowed to plea bargain to drop the death penalty. He plead "no contest" to the murder charge, which means that he is not admitting to or denying the crime. He was found guilty and received life in prison with the possibility of parole in 20 years. 

We miss our precious Brandon so much. His last day haunts us and I pray that God surrounded him with angels on that day so that his suffering was minimized.  Please say a prayer for the family of Brandon Carpenter to find peace.  Especially pray for little Hunter who's life will be forever altered by the loss of his brother and best friend.

From Brandon's mom

Happy Birthday Brandon!

On July 12, 1997 at 7:35 pm, God blessed me with a 6lb. 8oz. beautiful baby boy, Brandon Lee Carpenter. When I first laid eyes on you I was truly amazed at this little soul I was carrying inside of me for 9 months and now finally you had arrived. With a head full of hair and beautiful eyes, I always knew you were God's gift to me, my angel sent from above. 

You were always a good baby, you only cried when you were wet or hungry, always full of smiles in which you made me proud to be your mother. Brandon, you not only filled my life with happiness, but also everyone around us. Smiles like rays of sunshine made our hearts smile. 

My heart and mind are filled with loving memories of our short but blessed times that we shared together. Your loving cry for mom still touches my heart today. 

My first attempts at feeding you were messy. We both were wearing squash! Then mom let dad feed you your first table food, spaghetti-o's. What a mistake. You were stained orange for a few days. We laughed quite a bit about that one. You loved to gobble down cheese curls, frito's dipped in mustard, and pop corn. Thanks to daddy and Aunt Heather. McDonalds, Wendy's, and Taco Bell were your favorite fast food places.

We celebrated your first birthday at Glenwood Park with our loving family and friends. All the excitement tuckered you out. You were even too tired to eat a piece of your birthday cake. When you ventured out to take your first  steps in life, your dad and I were there to watch and catch you if you were to fall. 

Brandon, you were always getting your little hands into everything! I remember when you were one year old and your dad and me were painting. Mommy went to the kitchen and your daddy to the front door. You decided you wanted to paint, too. Only you painted yourself blue, instead of the walls! 

When we'd go to Grandma and Grandpa Meeker's house, you always gave Grandma a look that she couldn't resist. You knew where Grandma stashed the lollipops. You not only got one, but two or three. You loved watching cartoons and you had your own video library. Your favorite cartoons ... Scooby Doo, Teletubbies, and Blues Clues always made your face light up and a smile appear. Your library also included Aladdin, AristiCats, Titanic, Paulie and Blues Clues and you just adored the little girl on the Pepsi commercials.

The vivid memory of how you fell asleep still remains in my memory. You would wear your favorite Cleveland Browns P.J's, sucking on your binkie, with your bottle to your nose. I would sit and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while running my finger up and down the bridge of your nose until you fell asleep. I'd top it off by giving you a kiss good-nite and telling you "Mommy Loves you, Goodnite Brandon". I would sit and watch you and wonder what you were dreaming about.

I remember you doing many things that you just loved to do, like your first horse ride, potty training, camping and fishing with daddy. I missed you being away from me that short period of time while camping, almost as much as I missed you being away from me the week your little brother Hunter was born. On your first go-cart ride, you didn't want to go with anyone except mommy. You loved swimming, just like a fish in water. 

You never wanted help, always wanted to be a big boy and try to swim on your own. You were so cute in your little speedo's! 

Brandon, you were mommy's little side kick, everywhere I went, you went. Everything I did, you wanted to do, whether it was doing my hair or putting on make-up, you wanted it done, too. 

When your brother Hunter was born and finally arrived home, you were excited but a little jealous. You were a big brother then, and will always be Hunter's big brother, now and forever. Even though you were brothers, you fought over everything from toys to food. 

You started school at 16 months. Your school was in the next town so when it came time to put you on the bus, mommy cried, not only because you were going to school but because mommy's little boy was growing up.

After that, daddy had to be the one to put you on the bus. Hunter joined you in school, you boys even had the same class. Out of the many precious things that you made in school, from your first hand print to the Santa candle, all are still kept and cherished. I will always hold these precious mementos very close to my heart! 

You were well loved by everyone, from your teachers, classmates, even the bus driver loved you, Brandon. Brandon, our bond is still strong, if not stronger. You will always be mommy's boy. Your life here on earth was too short, but the time you were here you touched the hearts of anyone and everyone who knew you, even those who didn't know you. The memories we share will not be forgotten by me, your dad, your brother and the rest of the family that misses you more and more as time goes on. Mommy knows that you are in a better place, safe from a world full of hurt, anger and violence. I often wonder what you are doing up in Heaven. are you playing? Are you looking down on me? I often wonder what you look like. Are you still a toddler or a young boy now?

No matter what Brandon, you will always be my baby. If God would grant me one wish, it would be to hold you in my arms one more time, to kiss you, smell you and hear your little voice just one more time. You were robbed of your life my baby, you never had a chance to go to proms, graduate, date and find the girl of your dreams. Never to marry and have children of your own. Brandon, mommy will always love you and miss you until the day we meet in Heaven. But until then, please be a good little boy, watch over mommy , daddy, Hunter, Grandma and Grandpa Meeker, Aunt Sarah and Grandma Carpenter. You were my angel on earth and are now my Angel in Heaven. I feel at peace knowing that you definitely earned your wings and Golden Harp. You are not only in the arms of the angel, but you are one! Happy Birthday Baby! 

Love Always,

Mommy, Daddy, Aunt Sarah

Grandma & Grandpa Meeker

Grandma Carpenter

In loving memory of Brandon Carpenter 
July 12, 1997---April 8, 2000

You were just a precious baby when Jesus called your name

He said ," Come home with me Brandon, I'll take away your pain"

Your life on earth was much too short, we know this to be true

But God in all His mercy had better plans for you

He gently picked you up and wiped away your tears

He softly spoke your name again and took away your fears

So now you have a new home....in Grandma's arms to stay

While the angels sing you lullabies as Grandpa kneels to pray

For those of us who love you, and miss you more each day

We know that Jesus loves you more - That's why you couldn't stay

 

 

 

paw print

 


 

 

Page visited  Hit Counter   times since 3/17/01