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Funeral held for murdered Ga. 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera

This handout photo provided Monday Dec. 5, 2011, by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, shows Jorelys Rivera, 7, of Canton, Ga. AP Photo/Cherokee County Sheriffâ

Jorelys Rivera
AP Photo/Cherokee County Sheriff's Department
(CBS) CANTON, Ga. - The seven-year-old girl found raped and murdered in a dumpster near her apartment building was remembered at a memorial service Sunday.

Friends and family gathered at the First Baptist Church in Canton to say good-bye to Jorelys Rivera, reports CBS Atlanta.

Pictures: Jorelys Rivera

Rivera's parents had planned to address mourners at the funeral, but were too overcome with emotion to speak.

"Her friend Emily spoke and she had written a letter to Joreyls and she said I wish you were here. I wish we could fly together to heaven and I miss you," said Vanessa Best, a Rivera family friend.

"She was so playful and full of love," said Best. "It was really touching and beautiful everyone was just full of support and love for her."

The Rivera family planned to fly to Puerto Rico to bury Joreyls Sunday. CBS Atlanta reports that a non-profit called Humble Heroes organized a fundraiser at a local pizzeria to pay for the family's travel expenses.

On Dec. 7, police arrested Ryan Brunn, 20, for Rivera's murder. Brunn lived and worked in the apartment complex where the Rivera family lived.

"We believe this horrendous crime was planned and calculated and we've recorded a lot of evidence," said Vernon Keenan, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Complete coverage of Jorelys Rivera's murder on Crimesider


  • Crimesider Staff

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