Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

A Florida baby's photo goes viral as her mother struggles with boyfriend's death

Baby Aubrey will never meet her dad, but that didn't stop her mother from setting up a Father's Day photo for the 3-week-old infant.

Kathryn Williams says it's what her late boyfriend would have wanted.

So when Williams went home to the Panhandle to heal after her boyfriend was fatally shot in Pompano Beach, she set up an appointment with family friend Kim Stone.

Stone's Marianna photo business specializes in newborn baby photos — and this would prove to be a special shoot, Stone said.

Just a month before Aubrey's birth, her father, Hector Daniel Ferrer Alvarez, 25, was killed by a friend in his motorcycle club, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

"They came over at 10 o'clock on Friday morning," Stone said. "We went into a room and prayed together."

Williams brought her mother, as well as some of her husband's most prized possessions.

Soon, like she's done dozens of times before, Stone worked to set up the shoot. She wrapped little Aubrey in a pink knit blanket, her great grandmother's.

She placed Alvarez's helmet behind the baby. The motorcyclist was avid about safety. Then, she grabbed his leather bike gloves.

"I put one of daddy's gloves under her face, and the other glove on her back," Stone said. "The baby just started to smile."

There was no time to set up lights, Stone just grabbed her camera and tried to capture the moment.

"They say that angels are talking to babies when they smile in their sleep. I guess maybe that's true," Stone wrote when she posted the photo on her business' Facebook page.

The picture has gone viral. It's been online just over a week and already had more than 360,000 "likes" and 80,000 shares by Tuesday morning.

Stone said the experience has been overwhelming for herself, Williams and Williams' family. Stone said Williams is still tender and coping. Williams did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The couple never got married, according to a GoFundMe page set up for Aubrey and her mom. But they planned a secret wedding a week before Williams' due date, the page says.

The man deputies say shot Alvarez is being held without bail at the Broward County Jail.

The photo and its story has been featured in newspapers as far away as Germany.

The family is putting a scrap book together of the clippings for Aubrey. Even though she will have to grow up without her father, she'll know how much she is loved, according to Stone.

"Kathryn said the most powerful thing," Stone said. "Someday she'll tell Aubrey, 'This is the day the world stopped and prayed for you.' "

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] or (813) 226-3400. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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