CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - Hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye to 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze Saturday.
Police escorted Alianna’s body from Lucas Funeral Home in Garfield Heights to Imani Temple Ministries in Cleveland Heights for her funeral Saturday morning.
Alianna was kidnapped and murdered on her way to school January 30 by a man police say is a convicted sexual predator. Alianna's mother was unaware for nearly 10 hours that her daughter never made it to school that day. By the time she was reported missing, she had been murdered, her body left inside a vacant home on Cleveland's east side.
"Disgusted... she didn't have to, so young, she had so much to give, I mean she won't be able to finish school, get married, do anything, life just taken away from her by this monster," said Laura Cowan, a community activist.
The Praise Dancers from the Cleveland School of the Arts paid tribute to her.
Her aunt read a letter written in memory of Alianna by her grandfather.
"The 14 years you were here, you gave me and your grandmother so much happiness. How you made your grandpa laugh when he was down, and teased him when you were done, how I'm going to all of the warm and loving hugs you gave me."
The man accused in her murder, 44-year-old Christopher Whitaker, is being held on a $3 million bond.