If you've driven through town in the past few days, you've probably seen the signs. Pray for Natalie, #Pray4Nat, Justice for Natalie, #JusticeforNatalie -- these messages are popping up on posters throughout Durand and neighboring communities, encouraging residents to lift up a Durand toddler found brutally beaten and abused last week. Durand Now contacted Durand Police Chief Jason Hartz via email on Friday asking about an incident on Brand Street but did not receive a response.
Few details have been released about the situation except that no suspects are in custody, however, ABC12 reports that the Shiawassee County Sheriff's Department, which is handling the investigation that, we're told, did begin at a home on Brand Street, is closing in on one.
Natalie will be two years old in March. She is currently hospitalized in Ann Arbor. A Facebook page showing support for Natalie is asking anyone with information that may help the investigation to contact the Shiawassee County Sheriff's Office.
Angela Jones, a family friend, echoed those sentiments in a message to Durand Now, saying "They need to find the people responsible for this."
Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole told Durand Now on Monday night, "This is a delicate case and at this time we are not releasing many details. I can, however, assure you that the Sheriff's Office and our detectives are working hard on the case and are committed to identifying the person or persons responsible for what happened to that poor little girl."