Witness describes seeing abduction of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze

CLEVELAND - An eyewitness to the abduction of Alianna DeFreeze took the stand Tuesday.

He described seeing a man grab the 14-year-old while she walked along East 93rd Street near Fuller Avenue in January 2017.

"He grabs her, and my first thought was to call the police, but I didn't," said Kenneth Chambers, 19, who lived in the area and was waiting for a school bus when he said he witnessed the abduction.

Chambers said he did not call authorities because he was not sure of the relationship of the people.

The testimony came on the third day of the trial of Chirstopher Whitaker, 44, who is charged with kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder in DeFreeze's death.

She vanished while walking to school at E Prep Woodland Hills. Police found her body three days later in a vacant house on Fuller Avenue.

Lisa Przepyszny, a forensic scientist with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office, testified Tuesday afternoon about her analysis of trace evidence collected at the scene. That included DeFreeze's clothing and bloody tools found in the home.

Earlier in the day, jurors viewed clothing items, including work boots worn by Whitaker. Much of Przepyszny's testimony focused on her analysis of a bloody footprint found on plaster in the home, which she linked to Whitaker's boot.

On Monday, Cuyahoga County prosecutors showed surveillance footage from a church that investigators said showed the moment DeFreeze encountered Whitaker on the morning of her disappearance. As she walked out of frame, investigators said Whitaker followed her toward the area where Chambers said he witnessed the abduction.

Investigators also revealed bloody tools, including a drill, box cutter and screwdriver that they said caused DeFreeze's fatal wounds.

Whitaker's attorneys said he has does not contest the charges against him. He faces the death penalty, if convicted. His attorneys have indicated they will focus on sparing his life during the penalty phase of the trial.

More testimony from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office and expert testimony regarding DNA testing is expected Wednesday. Prosecutors planned to conclude their case by the end of this week.