It is the picture of small-town Americana.
A quiet village in east-central Illinois nestled between cornfields and the hometown diner.
But if you listen very carefully, you will hear the sounds of heartbreak, a community in shock, a mother with a void that can never be filled.
"I think about her all the time. Not a moment goes by she's not in my head."
Stacy Conner is mourning the death of her 10-year-old daughter. A 5th grade honor student at Ridge Farm Elementary School in Ridge Farm, Illinois.
In November Ashlynn took her own life.
Her family believes her death was prompted by years of bullying. Primarily name calling by school mates and neighborhood children.
"The day before she died, she asked me to be home schooled, if I would have her home schooled. It got that bad," Stacy said.
Stacy says the taunting started two years ago, when her hair was cut short.
Eventually she reported it to the elementary school principal, Stacy says he did take care of the matter.
Ashlynn's mom says the problems escalated again this year.
"I had just told her the night that she died, it will be ok. On Monday, we'll go talk to the principal. We'll do what we did last year, we'll talk to the principal. It will get take care of, it will stop. I just feel like she couldn't wait for Monday. I think if she knew it was permanent, she wouldn't have done it. She wanted the pain to stop. In that moment, she wanted it to stop.
Now, mom wants the bullying to stop, and for more people to be aware of the problem in their communities.
"Some parents have told me in the past, that's kids being kids. No, kids shouldn't be that way. She was treated so mean any why couldn't someone have been there for her?"
Ashlynn's grave site is just walking distance from her home.
Toys and notes left from other children in her memory decorate the site, kind gestures to mask the black-eye on this community.
A mother sits at home, a part of her buried along with her baby.
"I feel like I've been robbed. I've been robbed of the milestones that I would have seen from her. Sweet 16, prom, graduation. I've been robbed of it all for a little teasing and taunting."
The school superintendent and principal both say they can't comment due to a pending investigation by the Sheriff's Department. The Vermillion County, Illinois Sheriff has not returned our calls.
UPDATE: Around 9 a.m. on Saturday, the Terre Haute Police Department responded to the Statesman Inn room 144 at 1407 N 3rd Street. Officers found Randall Norton Jr, 21, with multiple stab wounds to his back and abdomen.
The Washington Police Department responded Friday around 2 a.m. to a complaint of a male subject being shot. The incident happened on Oak Grove Road in Washington near Ebenezer Baptist Church.
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