Protecting our children from abuse: Part 1

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Evan Coen Evan Coen
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A small grave marks where Cindy Miles' 15-month-old grandson, Evan Coen, was buried eight years ago. 

"I sat there beside his grave and promised myself that I would not let his death be in vain -- that I would do whatever I could do to save other children in the community," she said. 

Evan died after suffering skull fractures and swelling on the brain. At the time of his death, he was living with his mom, Miles' daughter, and her boyfriend. 

No one was ever charged in the case. 

"It's really hard," Miles said. "I'm angry, but I don't know who to be angry at. It's an awkward position to be that angry, but don't know who to be angry at." 

Evan was one of hundreds of children abused in Wichita every year. 

"Kids are the most innocent of victims."

Detective Heather Huhman with the Wichita Police Department's Exploited and Missing Child Unit sees this kind of abuse every day.  

"When something like child abuse or victimization it's very impactful," Det. Huhman said.  

The Wichita community is working hard to stop child abuse, and Miles is probably one of the biggest advocates in keeping kids safe. 

As she thumbs through Evan's scrap book, she's reminded of why she's here:  to send a message to others and help prevent kids from going through the same torture as Evan. 

"I need to tell the story because people need to know how important it is to stand up for these children."

After Evan's death, Cindy Miles joined the Junior League of Wichita and helps to support its fight against child abuse.

KAKE News is proud to sponsor this year's holiday galleria, an event organized by the Junior League. The money raised all goes to local groups to help fight child abuse. It will be held October 5 through 8 at Century II.
 

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

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