Balloons celebrate slain Akron 3-year-old after execution of her killer

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The family of a young girl slain nearly 25 years ago in Akron held a balloon launch to celebrate her life days after her killer was executed.

Ronald Phillips died by lethal injection Wednesday at the Lucasville state prison for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, Sheila Marie Evans.

The celebration was held at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon at a cemetery in Mahoning County’s Milton Township in northeast Ohio.

Sheila Marie is buried beneath a pink gravestone cut in the shape of a teddy bear. The back of the stone carries a Bible verse that begins: “Suffer little children to come unto me.”

Relatives  urged those who could not attend Saturday’s celebration to release a balloon at 3 p.m. wherever they were.

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