More than 200 motorcycles escort body of 2-year-old Iowa native to grave in North Liberty

2-year-old Zavien Kinyon loved motorcycles.
2-year-old Zavien Kinyon loved motorcycles.(Courtesy of Saroya Kinyon)
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 3:37 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -More than 200 motorcyclists escorted the body of a 2-year-old to a grave in North Liberty last week. Zavien Kinyon died in the care of a babysitter in Oklahoma, his family is originally from Iowa.

Zavien Kinyon was living with his grandparents in Oklahoma, his grandmother Saroya Kinyon told us the day that turned tragic started out like any other.

“On that Friday morning June 18th we dropped off a beautiful, healthy 2-year-old full of life,” she explained.

Kinyon told us she got a frantic call from the sitter’s husband that same evening.

“He says your kid, he said that Medevac was on the way, your kid fell from a bunkbed and he’s not breathing,” Kinyon said. “And when we got there Zavien was in the back of the ambulance, he was on a ventilator and it wasn’t good,” she added.

He died 3 days later at the hospital, his grandmother told us he was brain dead.

His family remembers his smile, and love of motorcycles.

“It was always bike papa, bike papa,” Kinyon explained. Zavien’s grandfather rides a Harley.

When Zavien’s body was brought back to Iowa to be buried alongside family members at the Ridgewood Cemetery in North Liberty, 201 bikers from across the state showed up. The large show of support came with just 24 hour notice, and most of them were complete strangers to the family.

“We knew that he liked motorcycles and that’s what we were there for,” Pamela Eubank of Washington said.

The bikes surrounded the Gay & Ciha funeral home in Iowa City and then escorted Zavien’s body all the way to the grave site.

”We knew that we could take that little boy and we could take him to his final resting place being escorted by over 200 motorcycles, so maybe in a weird way he was kind of smiling about it,” Wendy Kells said, who rode from Cedar Rapids.

Zavien’s family is continuing to seek answers. They told us hospital staff don’t believe he died from a bunk bed fall. He had blunt force trauma to his head which lead to a brain bleed. His grandma told us he had no other broken bones.

“All of the medical officials over there from the first person that we talked to said that it just didn’t add up,” Kinyon explained.

An investigation into Zavien’s death is ongoing by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Zavien’s family told us the bikers that showed up the day of the funeral gave them the strength they needed that day.

“We just want them to know that that meant everything. They surrounded us on one of the darkest days of our lives and even though they weren’t inside the building with us, and we couldn’t see the bikes we could hear them. And it did give us strength,” Kinyon said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family with medical expenses and funeral costs.

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