Community joins together for Alianna’s final goodbye

The Cleveland community two weeks of mourning culminated on Saturday Feb. 11, they all joined together to say their final goodbye to 14-year old Alianna DeFreeze at Imani Temple Ministries.

The Cleveland community two weeks of mourning culminated on Saturday Feb. 11, they all joined together to say their final goodbye to 14-year old Alianna DeFreeze at Imani Temple Ministries.

Lucas Memorial Funeral Home of Garfield Heights donated their service for the funeral of Alianna, Lakeview Cemetery donated the plot that would be her final resting place, Imani Temple Ministries donated their church and building for the repass and the Cleveland Cavaliers players donated the food for the repass.

Alianna was reported missing after failing to show up for school on Jan. 26. Surveillance cameras recorded her getting off an RTA bus near where her body was found days later in an abandoned house last month.

Forty-four-year-old Christopher Whitaker, of South Euclid, has been arrested, charged and was indicted Monday Feb. 13 on charges including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and offenses against a corpse in the death of.

A prosecutor says the facts of the case and Whitaker's criminal history compel his office to seek the death penalty. Whitaker has previous convictions for assault and sexual battery.

Since the tragedy local churches have initiated a program to adopt a school and members of that church will safely escort local school children to school.

Among the pallbearers for Alianna was a local Cleveland Police officer, Imani Temple was overflowed with family, friends and community members who are all shocked and saddened at the death of an innocent child, robbed of her life way too soon.

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