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Boston Marathon Blasts

Martin Richard, 8, remembered for boundless energy

CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency

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BOSTON - A photo snapped recently of Martin Richards shows the youngster smiling brightly, a big gap where his front tooth was missing.

But eight-year-old boys are supposed to lose their teeth, not their lives.

Martin was among the three people killed and 176 others wounded when two pressure cookers filled with nails exploded in Copley Square during the storied Boston Marathon on Monday.

Moments earlier, the boy had scurried out onto Boylston St. and wrapped his arms around his dad as he crossed the finish line.

Sadly, it was the last hug Bill Richards will ever get from his son.

"My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston," the distraught father said in a statement released Tuesday.

After hugging his dad, Martin ran back to his mom and five-year-old sister. Moments later, the bombs exploded, shattering windows, bones and the Richards family.

The family's patriarch is now left to mourn the loss of his son while praying for the survival of his daughter, who lost a leg, and his wife, who suffered brain injuries.

"We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers," Richards said. "I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin."

He also asked for prayers, patience and privacy "as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover."

The family's street in Dorchester, a neighbourhood in the city's south end, was blocked by police cruisers Tuesday night to help the heartbroken man with his wish for privacy.

A candle burned outside their home and the word "peace" was etched in chalk on the walkway.

It was a reference to the photo of a toothless Martin, posted online by his school teacher, in which he holds a large blue paper sign he had made in class with "No more hurting people" written across the top and "peace" scrawled in larger letters below.

Martin, who reportedly liked to play football and ride his bike, also drew a couple of hearts and a peace symbol on the sign.

A candlelight vigil was held for the boy Tuesday night at a church in Dorchester.

One of the other victims killed in the bombings was identified Tuesday as Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old woman who manages a restaurant.

She had been at the finish line to snap a picture of her pal's boyfriend as he completed the 42-kilometre race.

In a sad twist, her parents spent 12 hours in hospital believing their daughter had survived the blast and was in surgery.

When William and Patty were finally led into a room to visit with Krystle, they were stunned to see their daughter's friend, Karen Rand.

Apparently there was some sort of mix-up at the hospital and the couple quickly realized it was indeed their daughter who had been killed.

"My daughter was the most lovable girl," William later told reporters. "She helped everybody and I'm just so shocked right now."

"We're just devastated," he added.

The third fatal victim of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings was a Chinese citizen whose identity was not being made public at the request of the victim's family, the Chinese Consulate in New York said in a statement.

Eight people remain in critical condition, hospital officials say. Six are listed in serious and six in fair condition.

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca

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Team Sun is in Boston to bring you the latest on the bombings. Follow updates from Joe Warmington, Chris Doucette, Simon Kent and Bruce Garrioch.


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