The 7-year-old's mother has been charged with murder in connection with his death

IRONDEQUOIT — Teachers who worked for years with murder victim Abraham Cardenas came together for a candlelight vigil Friday night in honor of what they remembered as a charming, engaging little boy.

“He was loved,” exclaimed Yohanna Ramirez, a former teacher at the Stepping Stones Learning Center in Irondequoit. “They need to know that he was loved. Very much loved.”

Ramirez joined other former Stepping Stones employees at the now-closed facility which Abraham attended for years.

"He really just lit up the world," declared former teacher Bridgette Remillard. “He would come into class and had such a bright smile and would say hello to everybody."

On Thursday night, 7-year-old Abraham was discovered dead in his home in Sweden. He had been stabbed and decapitated. His mother, Hanane Mouhib, 36, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with his death.

Abraham’s teachers said they never detected any signs of trouble in their interactions with Mouhib, which they described as routine interactions discussing the boy’s progress.

In Abraham, they recalled a charming, lovable boy with an infectious smile.

“All I remember is that smile,” Ramirez laughed. “That smile and those eyes that would just light up the room man. Especially when he was being naughty.”

The evening’s remembrances of Abraham were frequently punctuated with laughter, laugher that was sometimes interrupted by sudden silences that descended into tears.

Mouhib was arrested after a struggle with Monroe County deputies. She was ordered held without bail in the Monroe County Jail. The county District Attorney’s office announced it intended to bring her case to a grand jury and seek an indictment before her next court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, April 11. 

“Heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking,” said former teacher Courtney Puccia, who singled the boy out as a unique presence during his time at Stepping Stones. “Half these people here probably didn't have them in their classrooms but they knew him. He was just that kind of a kid. He’d just leave an imprint on your heart. And you'll remember him forever."