03/14/13 — Family: 'Little Matt' was happy, sweet, loving child

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Family: 'Little Matt' was happy, sweet, loving child

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 14, 2013 1:46 PM

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Photo courtesy of Facebook and the family

Amy Jo and Matthew

Those who loved "Little Matthew" Theurer are still in shock.

In an exclusive interview with the News-Argus, the toddler's aunt, Davene Steen, said this morning that she still can't believe that he is gone -- and that her niece, Amy Jo, the little boy's mother, is being portrayed as anything less than the loving parent she knew.

"She loved him so much. Even after she came back to Indiana, she would call every day just to hear his little sounds," she said. "She just didn't have a job and didn't have a house and didn't have the means to provide for Matthew."

Amy Jo was working to fix that, however, applying for fast food jobs in Indiana and even offering to babysit for friends and family to create a circumstance where she could bring her son home.

Mrs. Steen said her niece felt that getting a job would make a custody battle possible.

Amy Jo had been afraid that since her estranged husband had a good job with the Air Force, he would gain custody of their son should the case ever go before a judge.

So now that her child is gone, she is "really messed up," Mrs. Steen said.

And she clings, just like the rest of those who loved Little Matthew, to those memories of a "happy baby" who was "always smiling" -- the little boy who banged on pots and pans and shook bottles full of rice so he could laugh at the sounds he created.

"When he was with Amy Jo, he was happy. He was loved and taken care of. He was a very happy baby with his mother," Mrs. Steen said, choking up. "He was so happy and so healthy. She just loved him so much. When she came back home, she and her boyfriend started scraping together money -- anything they could put together to go get Matthew. They were planning on picking him up in a few weeks. Now they won't ever be able to."