‘I’m angry and I’m hurt’: Emotional vigil honors woman tortured, murdered in East Cleveland

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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Family, friends and community leaders released pink and white balloons into the air in honor of 22-year-old Alishah Pointer Friday evening.

They held a candlelight vigil in front of the burned out, vacant home on Savannah Avenue in East Cleveland where her body was found on Tuesday.

“I’m angry and I’m hurt and I’m hurting for my mom and I’m trying to be strong for her and she’s trying to be strong for me… I don’t want to be here for my sister like this,” said the victim’s sister, Aaliyah Pointer.

Aaliyah says she wants justice for sister, who she considered her best friend.

“They did this to the wrong person and now the person who is responsible is still out here,” she said.

Six people have been arrested, accused of playing a part in the young woman’s torture and murder. They are Indya Pauldo, Anthony Bryant, Brittany Smith, Destiny Henderson, Portia Williams and Nathaniel Poke, Jr.

East Cleveland police say Alishah was dating a man that the suspects thought was responsible for murdering a family member and friend on Nov. 2.

They were trying to get her to give them information on where her boyfriend was.

“This is very devastating and traumatic to our family, and no family should have to go through anything like this,” said the victim’s aunt, Michaela Smith.

Police are still searching for 18-year old Hakeem Ali Shomo, and they believe even more people could be involved in the crime.

Hakeem Ali Shomo

“She didn’t deserve that, she didn’t deserve that at all and I hope every last one of y’all rot in hell,” said cousin Carolyn Pointer.

Relatives describe Alishah as a loving, compassionate woman who worked as a caregiver.

Her mother, seen in the pink hoodie and beige cap, did not want to speak, but her grandmother did.

“All the pain and suffering she endured, but she’s free now. She’s free,” said grandmother Marilyn Harris.

One of Alishah’s cousin’s paid tribute with a song he wrote, but broke down before he could finish.

“Baby girl, I love you, God be with you, God got you in his arms and I love you, sweetheart,” said a great aunt.

Community leaders also called for East Cleveland to tear down abandoned houses.

Alishah’s family is asking for everyone to remain peaceful and respectful and they don’t want any revenge — just justice.

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