Government Shutdown Affects Fundraising Efforts For Family Of Murdered Licking County Toddler

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The government shutdown is affecting millions of people across the country -- and right here in central Ohio.

The Newark Advocate first reported that a Liking County family was struggling to pay for the funeral of a 2-year-old girl who was allegedly murdered last week.

The boyfriend of 2-year-old Jocelyn Runyon's mother remained in jail Monday, charged with the little girl's murder.

And now, the family is preparing to lay Jocelyn to rest.

Detectives say 24-year-old Daniel Hall admitted he shook the little girl while he was babysitting her. He said she would not stop crying.

Hall’s attorney said that family members indicated that Runyon fell from a counter.

As the investigation continues, the people who love the little girl are pouring their hearts out.

Businesses up and down Main Street, such as Lonsinger's Pharmacy, have put out jars on their counters on the little girl's behalf, collecting dollars and coins to help defray the cost of the funeral.

"Being in a small-town community is very important to us,” said Laura Riley.  “We are part of this community, so it was something that touched our hearts, and we just wanted to support them in any way we could."

Friends of the family also were working to set up a fund at local banks to pay for the funeral, but the ongoing government shutdown made that process a lot more difficult.  

Typically, you need an employer identification number to set up a charity fund, so funds will remain tax free.

But since the shutdown, the IRS has not been issuing any EINs.

Despite that obstacle, a fund was set up at the Park National Bank in the name of Jocelyn’s mother.

Support is coming in from other resources, too.

“I have messaged and emailed Jocelyn’s mother, just offering my emotional support," said Megan Crase.

She started Garrett's Project, a support group in Newark, when she lost her son, Garrett.

She knows firsthand the grief Jocelyn’s mother is going through.

"You deal with it every day of your life,” Crase said.  “My son has been gone almost three and a half years, and I still have days where I break down."

Garrett's Project is planning to hold a fundraiser for Jocelyn's family at the Heath Pizza Hut on Oct. 22.

10TV has also learned the funeral home Brucker and Kishler Funeral Home in Newark is helping the family and accepting donations to pay for funeral and burial costs.

Watch 10TV News and refresh for more information.