Baby Halo’s family, friends pay tribute to her memory

Family members release balloons to remember baby who died

Family and friends gathered at the Hudson Boat Launch on Monday evening to release balloons and pay tribute to Halo Branton.

At the Hudson boat launch on a sunny but windy day, a crowd gathered to send up balloons in memory of little Halo Branton.

It was a gathering of family and friends of the baby’s father, Amar Branton.

A crowd showed up to the Hudson Boat Launch, bringing bunches of bright, colorful balloons. At a pavilion near the water, they released the balloons.

There were a lot of hugs all around and smiles – people supporting one another.

A makeshift memorial was created at Campbell and 12th Street in Schenectady, with flowers and stuffed animals near the home where mother Persia Nelson and baby Halo were, shortly before going onto the General Electric campus.

Nelson does a lot on Facebook, posting more than two dozen times Sunday alone, including the most recent post that says, “I’m drunk, don’t play with me right now.” That post had more than 3,000 angry comments from the public.

Halo Rose-Marie Branton would have been 1-year-old next month. She never got to see her first birthday.

The GoFundMe page set up by her father’s brother says, “Rest In Peace Halo, you are now an Angel.”

For friends and family especially, it’s difficult knowing how she died, out in the elements.

The Schenectady County District Attorney said the 10-month-old died of exposure, hypothermia.

“The baby was dropped into a utility tunnel from a height of about eight feet,” said DA Robert Carney. “The bottom of the tunnel, there was standing water. The baby did not drown. The baby was in the water which came up to her chest and around her head, but not her face. Her mother was found in a GE security building which was heated.”

Halo’s father, Amar Branton, described his daughter as playful, sweet, and beautiful.