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Neighbours lay flowers at the house of the 8-year-old victim (AP)

Neighbours lay flowers at the house of the 8-year-old victim (AP)

AP

Neighbours lay flowers at the house of the 8-year-old victim (AP)

Friends and neighbours of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old killed in the Boston marathon bombings, have spoken of their horror and sadness at his death.

His mother, Denise, and six-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.

They had gone to get ice cream, then returned to the area near the finish line. Neighbour Jack Cunningham said Martin's father Bill was a runner but had been injured and did not run the marathon.

Family friend congressman Stephen Lynch said: "They were looking in the crowd as the runners were coming to see if they could identify some of their friends when the bomb hit,"

A lone candle burned on the step of the family's home in Boston, and "peace" was written in chalk on the front drive. A child's bicycle helmet lay overturned on the front lawn.

"What a gift. To know him was to love him," said friend Judy Tuttle, who talked of sitting at the dining room table having tea with Denise Richard while Martin did his homework. "He had that million-dollar smile and you never knew what was going to come out of him. Denise is the most spectacular mother that you've ever met and Bill is a pillar of the community. It doesn't get any better than these people."

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old restaurant manager has been identified as the second of three people killed in the bombing.

Her father says Krystle Campbell, of Medford, Massachusetts, had gone with her best friend to take a picture of the friend's boyfriend crossing the finish line yesterday afternoon.

William Campbell says his daughter, who worked at a restaurant in nearby Arlington, was "very caring, very loving person, and was daddy's little girl." He says the loss has devastated the family.

He says the friend was seriously injured in the explosion.

PA Media