NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Friends and family of Sayeed Neilson gathered on Halloween for a balloon release in the teen’s honor.
Metro Police say he was killed last week by his half brother, David Matheny, while their mother, Rebecca Greenwood, watched.
The pair originally told investigators that Sayeed had fallen and hit his head in the shower.
According to arrest warrants, Greenwood later said she watched Matheny punch and beat 14-year-old Sayeed to death and did nothing to stop it.
Sayeed’s father, Don Neilson, says Halloween was his son’s favorite holiday. Friends, family and neighbors gathered on October 31st outside the home where Sayeed was killed and released balloons into the sky.
Sayeed’s cousin, Kayla Wood, says they chose orange and black balloons for Halloween and blue because that was Sayeed’s favorite color.
Wood says after Sayeed died, she heard from multiple people that there was abuse going on inside the home on Topeka drive for months.
“I can’t tell you how many people we’ve heard stories about what they knew after the fact and they didn’t say anything. That’s not right. He had his whole life ahead of him,” Wood said. “I think people should be charged for not saying something. You’re just as guilty. Just as guilty.”
Sayeed’s father, Don Neilson, says he did not know Matheny or Greenwood may have been abusing the teen prior to his death.
Greenwood and Matheny remain in Metro Jail without bond. They are both charged with criminal homicide and evidence tampering.
Police say the mother and son bought cleaning supplies to cover up what happened to Sayeed.
Greenwood is also charged with child neglect and Matheny with child abuse.