Community thanks police for their work, gathers to remember Alianna Defreeze

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CLEVELAND – A vigil to honor the memory of 14-year-old Alianna Defreeze and to thank the police who brought her suspected killer to justice was held Saturday afternoon.

A member of Alianna’s family joined a number of community groups who asked everyone to come out to stand with them at this sad time for the family.

They headed to Cleveland’s Fourth District Police Headquarters to show their appreciation for the police work that led to an arrest.

The group then covered the house where Alianna’s body was found with teddy bears in order to “let her know we love her and we are showering her with love.”

Christopher Whitaker, 44, is charged with aggravated murder in her death.  Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Michael Sliwinski set his bond at $3 million at the request of the prosecution Saturday morning.

Whitaker was arrested last week in Mayfield Heights by U.S. Marshals.  Officials say he has an extensive criminal record, including sexual battery and felonious assault, and is a registered sex offender in Cuyahoga County.

Alianna Defreeze went missing on January 26 after getting off of an RTA bus at East 93rd Street and Kinsman Avenue.  Her body was found inside a vacant house on Fuller Avenue a few days later.


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