FORSYTH COUNTY — Surrounded Monday afternoon by friends, family and community members, Dawn Shutts mourned the loss of her 3-year-old son, Wyatt Pruitt.
A chilly wind carried balloons with personal messages to Pruitt from the group into the overcast sky above the Central Park playground.
“He was such a sweet kid, always trying to please everybody,” said Amanda Dockstader, who cared for Pruitt at the Primrose School of Cumming. “He was energetic and loving and he cared so much about his brother.”
The memorial was held nearly a week after Pruitt died of what authorities have determined to be blunt force trauma while in the care of Shutts’ boyfriend, Christopher Truett.
Truett, 25, of Butts County has been charged with one count each of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated battery. He also faces charges of cruelty to children in the first degree and reckless conduct in connection with the case.
He is being held without bond at the Forsyth County Detention Center.
Truett was reportedly babysitting Pruitt at a home on Roseman Landing in the Bridgetowne subdivision of north Forsyth, where the child lived with Shutts.
Dozens of people, including Shutts’ father Christopher Shoemaker, who Pruitt called “Papa,” attended the service.
“We were very tight,” Shoemaker said of his grandson. “He loved to watch scary movies with Papa.”
Shoemaker said he had never met his daughter’s boyfriend, but after seeing his photo online he “just had a bad sense.”
“I said, ‘I don’t like him, I don’t trust him,’” he said. “I told her to be careful.”
As for his grandson’s death, Shoemaker said he is “angry, confused, numb.”
“It’s hard to explain,” he said. “It still really hasn’t sunk in yet.”