Malachi Snyder misses his father. “He’s been asking for his daddy a lot,” the 2-year-old’s mom, Elizabeth Snyder, tells Us Weekly. “He knows something isn’t right and that Blake isn’t here anymore.” Elizabeth, a keeper at the St. Louis Zoo, can’t bring herself to explain to her son what happened.
On October 6, St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder was responding to an early morning disturbance call when suspect Trenton Forster shot him point-blank. The four-year department veteran, just 33 years old, was killed instantly. Forster, 18, has since been charged with first-degree murder.
Though Elizabeth and Malachi no longer reside in their St. Louis, Missouri, home — “everything in that house was me and Blake,” she explained to The Washington Post — the fallen hero is still a part of their bedtime routine. In a November 29 Instagram post, Elizabeth, 25, shared a gut-wrenching photo of her blue-eyed toddler clutching two teddy bears, both of them made from Blake’s uniform. The words love you always and always with you are stitched into the feet of each stuffed animal. “So very grateful these were made for us,” Elizabeth captioned the photo.
It wasn’t Elizabeth’s first post on social media acknowledging the tragedy. On October 15, the widow uploaded a picture of herself with a sleeping Malachi. In the image, her face is stricken with grief. “It’s been 10 days … 10 days since my heart was ripped form my chest. 10 days since my other half was taken from me,” she wrote on Facebook. “This pain that hasn’t subsided, that hasn’t been alleviated, is unbearable and unending.”
Two months later, Elizabeth says she is still struggling. “I think I miss talking to him the most. He understood me, unlike anyone else,” she tells Us, “and I couldn’t have asked for a better father for Malachi.”
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Blake was the 43rd officer to be shot and killed in 2016.
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