PALMETTO -- Darrian Szabo sat with her 3-month old daughter in her lap, looking over the candles, flowers, sparklers and stuffed animals marking the spot where the father of her child had died Christmas Day.
Hundreds gathered to lay candles at the spot where Palmetto's Kyle O'Halloran had been thrown to his death from the side of a moving vehicle.
High school students held onto each other, some crying, and others silent.
Baby Paitynn Szabo-O'Halloran sat in her 20-year-old mother's lap transfixed by the glowing candles at her 18-year-old father's memorial.
"It feels like I'm in a time warp, honestly. When I got here it was 2 p.m., and now it's already 7 and it feels like I just got here. Everything goes by so quick, and then other times things go by so slow without Kyle. I still don't feel like it's real," Szabo said. "I feel like he's gone away right now, but he's going to come back. I don't feel like he's gone, gone."
Before walking over to the memorial, friends and family of O'Halloran gathered at his parent's home, playing music, releasing balloons and lighting floating lanterns together in O'Halloran's memory.
Everyone had a memory to share.
Leann O'Halloran, Kyle's mother, said he'd given her a box with a Pandora charm inside for Christmas that day, and the box had a message written on it.
"It says: 'Mommy you are my sunshine. If I disappoint you I'm sorry. I want to make you proud of me. I love you so, so, so much,'" Leann O'Halloran said through tears. "He gave me that box right before he died. And he signed it: 'Your son, your boo, your Kyle.'"
Roberto Betancourt, 20, was charged with vehicular homicide in Kyle O'Halloran's death. Betancourt drove a Lincoln Town Car into the O'Hallorans' driveway in the 1800 block of 24th Avenue West with two passengers in the car at 5 p.m. Thursday, according to reports.
Police said O'Halloran approached the vehicle and presented a small amount of marijuana to Betancourt and the passengers, who passed it around to smell it. Betancourt then accelerated out of the driveway without paying for the marijuana, and O'Halloran grabbed onto the vehicle, according to reports.
Police said Betancourt kept accelerating as O'Halloran held onto the vehicle, reaching speeds above the posted limits before O'Halloran lost his grip and fell in the 1900 block of 24th Avenue West. Betancourt did not stop the car, and O'Halloran died as a result of head trauma, according to an autopsy performed Friday.
Leann O'Halloran said the drug-deal-gone-wrong narrative is false, and the occupants of the vehicle had driven up to her house with the intention of robbing them. She said the vehicle had driven by the house three times before pulling into the driveway.
"They want to talk about all the stuff he did, and say it was a drug deal gone bad," Leann O'Halloran said. "That wasn't my son. That wasn't my son. He was playing football when they pulled up. He didn't have marijuana on him."
Leann O'Halloran said Kyle had been wearing a gold necklace and sapphire earrings when he approached the car, which were not on his body after the incident, and they haven't been able to find the jewelry since. She said she does not believe her son was gripping the vehicle, but rather, the passengers of the vehicle were holding her son to the side of the car.
"They were hanging onto Kyle. And he was screaming, 'Mommy, help me,' and I didn't hear him," Leann O'Halloran said. "His dad was running after the car, screaming: 'Let go Kyle. Let go!' But he couldn't let go. They had him."
Leann O'Halloran said Kyle didn't even know Betancourt, but they knew one of the passengers and he was not welcome at the O'Halloran home because he had a lengthy criminal record.
Zach Maugherman, Kyle O'Halloran's best friend, said the last few days have been tough on everyone, but they were fighting through it.
"Kyle loved to make people laugh, and he made a lot of people laugh," Maugherman said. "It was his favorite thing to do."
Another important part of Kyle's life was his young daughter, Paitynn, said Kyle's fiancee.
"I have a lot of memories of the hospital, when Paitynn was born. I remember Kyle crying when Paitynn was born," Szabo said. "She meant everything to him."
Leann O'Halloran said she didn't appreciate news of Szabo's pregnancy at the time, but now she thanks God for it.
"I was mad at him at the time. I didn't think he needed a baby at 18," O'Halloran said. "But now that he's gone, I thank God, because it's all I've got."
Leann O'Halloran said Kyle could've done anything he wanted in life -- he was a tough teenager who got straight As and wanted to be an entrepreneur and a stockbroker. She said he would often tell his family, friends and teachers he was going to be a millionaire. After losing him just before he started a life of his own, his mother said she is heartbroken.
"I'm dying inside," Leann O'Halloran said. "I'm dying -- I feel like part of me is gone."