Columbus in mourning for murdered 5-year-old

Tony Renova lived with a Columbus foster family until recently
Marlo Pronovost
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
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The Columbus community is mourning the death of 5-year-old Tony Renova.

Tony lived in Columbus with his foster family for his entire life. Approximately eight months ago, he was returned to his biological mother and father — Stephanie Grace Byington, 31, and Emilio Emmanuel Renova Sr., 30.

That reunion ended Nov. 20 when Great Falls police responded to a call for help and found the child unresponsive, bleeding from the nose and mouth and covered with bruises and cuts. Paramedics pronounced Tony deceased at the scene, according to reports in the Great Falls Tribune.

Byington, Renova Sr., and Racso James Birdtail have been arrested and charged with the deliberate homicide of Tony Renova, among other things. The trio is accused of beating the boy to death. Two other children in the home have been removed.

Multiple local, state and federal agencies are investigating the horrific crime.

This week, those in Stillwater County who loved Tony, gathered Tuesday night for a celebration of life service. His foster parents — Christy and Jeff Foster — asked that children attending the service come dressed as Super Heroes, as that was one of Tony’s loves, especially Spider-man.

The News will continue to report on this crime.