Memorial ceremony for homeless man who was beaten to death


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Dozens of people gathered at a memorial ceremony for Todd Ledbetter, the homeless man who was beaten to death in Champaign last week.

One after another, people stood up to share their grief. They spoke about their memories of this man who’s life ended in a way that should never happen to a person. ​Beth Maynard says, “I was deeply shocked at the news of Todd’s death and it also made me think about the way that people in our society who are vulnerable suffer more than a lot of the rest of us.” ​

The 56-year-old man was homeless. ​Police say he was robbed, beaten, and killed across from West Side Park. The memorial service brought those who knew him together. ​They wanted to make sure people remember who he was. ​

Rob Dalhause is the executive director of C-U at Home, the shelter Ledbetter would often visit. ​He says, “Even at his best or worst, we always could sense this giving spirit, a love and compassion that would flow out of him. Through hundreds of interactions with him, it seemed like we got to know the heart of someone who was struggling mightily. But he also had this incredibly compassionate spirit.” ​

Nobody has been arrested yet, so his family and friends are still waiting for justice and left to cherish the memories of the man they cared about. ​Maynard says, “He had a very gentle and kind heart. He also had a lot of struggles and you saw those sometimes. But he was very sweet, a person of very deep faith, and it was great to know him.” ​

Champaign Police are asking for anyone with helpful information to contact them as they continue to investigate.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.