More than 200 Wilton residents gathered on a gently sloping hillock to celebrate the life of Nicholas Parisot, who was killed while riding his motorized bike through local woods.
The memorial was held Sunday at Millstone Farm two years to the day after Nick died. The evening let the Parisot family know they aren't alone, said Wilton resident Annie Clark.
"Basically it needed to be done," said Clark, a neighbor of the Parisots. "People came out of nowhere to help. It was meant to be."
Although the leaden sky threatened rain, it held steady throughout the cool twilight. People sat on blankets and beach chairs and listened to music in a place that Nicholas and his family cherished.
Nicholas often volunteered at Millstone Farm. People there knew him not only for his gentle nature and soulfulness, but also for his ability to run any piece of farm equipment, said Jesse Fink.
"The rhythm of the farm was Nick's rhythm," said Fink, who established Millstone Farm with his wife Betsy.
The farm was also the last place Rick Parisot saw his then 13-year-old son Nick alive. Rick Parisot was riding a tractor when Nick passed him shortly before heading down a path.
Nick Parisot was riding his motorized bike in a wooded area near Hickory Hill and Hillbrook roads when he struck a rope strung across the trail. He suffered severe injuries to his neck and body. He died shortly thereafter.
Wilton Police labeled the case a criminal homicide, but haven't yet charged anyone. Wilton Police Chief Michael Lombardo recently announced the department intends to explore the possibility of convening a Grand Jury hearing.
John Moxley, the brother of Martha Moxley, who was killed 35 years ago in Greenwich, also spoke at the memorial. Moxley's case went unsolved until Michael Skakel was convicted in 2002.
Because so much time elapsed after his sister's murder, Moxley said he first doubted the Greenwich Police Department's devotion to the case.
But in time, Moxley said he realized the "Greenwich Police Department, more than anyone, wanted to solve the crime. And I know that's true with the Wilton Police, as well."
Parisot's parents, Rick Parisot and Katherine Throckmorton, filed a civil suit in June of 2009 against Glenn and Barbara Knight and their 12-year-old son. The suit alleges the then 12-year-old Knight boy's malicious activities led to Nicholas Parisot's death. The case is still pending in Stamford Superior Court.
Fink said he invited Wilton residents to hold the memorial at Millstone because the farm was an integral part of Nick's life, and to "ensure that there is a resolution for the Parisot family and the community."
To find a resolution the community must remain united, said Moxley. He urged anybody who knows anything about that June night in 2008 to step forward.
"Everyone here has a critical role in helping the Parisots survive. We did not choose to have the link that binds us together," Moxley said. "We all dwell in the shelter of our community."
A cairn now rises from the earth, a short distance from one of the farm's many stone walls. Nick's father Rick built the sculpture.
"Cairns are markers on trails," Fink said, "and we hope Nicholas will find his way on his journey."