ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The 3-year-old boy whose mother is accused of suffocating him and burying him in an Albuquerque, N.M., playground is being remembered as a "silly, happy little guy."
The memorial service Tuesday for Ty Toribio was attended by relatives and city residents, including Mayor Martin Chavez, Police Chief Ray Schultz and Zia Pueblo Gov. Ivan Pino.
Ty's aunt, Emily Apodaca, recalled the time he wore a soda can box on his head for 30 minutes.
Senior Pastor Skip Heitzig says mourners should stop worrying about questions surrounding Ty's death and focus on what they know - that the boy is in heaven.
Pino told mourners to pray for his mother.
Tiffany Toribio faces first-degree murder and other charges in the boy's May 13 death.
Albuquerque police had said Toribio was recently homeless because she had been kicked out of her mother's house and a friend's apartment for ignoring her son.
Toribio's sister said Friday that the boy was doted on by family members, who she said were devastated by his mother's alleged actions.
"The night Tyruss passed, the Tiffany we all knew and loved also passed with him," Emily Apodaca said in a prepared statement read at Calvary Chapel, where she is a member.
Apodaca described her sister as a loving mother but acknowledged that the family, which lives in Zia Pueblo, northwest of Albuquerque, had little contact with Toribio since August.
Apodaca said she stopped speaking to her sister after Toribio got involved in a bad relationship.
"I don't know what happened within this year to make her feel there was no one on her side, or that there was nowhere for her to turn," Apodaca said.
"Tyruss came into this world born to a lost and confused girl, but he changed her.
She loved him more than life itself, and that's the sad and devastating part of this."
Apodaca said she contacted Toribio on May 7, when Toribio was living with their mother.
But Toribio generally has kept her whereabouts secret, Apodaca said, making it difficult to keep informed about her nephew.
"I had no address, a phone number, nothing to go off of," Apodaca said. "She would call for money," but not from a number the family could use to call her.
Toribio remained jailed on $250,000 bond. Prosecutors have until June 8 to take the case to a grand jury.
Child Buried at Playground Remembered as Happy Boy