BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Many parents can't help but think about their own children when hearing the heart-wrenching story of five-year-old Isabella Tennant.
Even though we don't know what happened inside Bella's great grandmother's home, we do know she was left with a trusted neighbor. Statistics show that children are more often killed by people they know than strangers.
Isabella Tennant is a bubbly five year old, gone too soon. She went to spend the night over her great grandmother's house on Sunday and never returned home.
Her great grandmother went to bed and left her with a trusted neighbor, 16-year-old John Freeman. He's accused of killing her with his bare hands.
News 4's George Richert spoke exclusively to Bella's mom. Crystal Walker said, "And I don't understand, he could've just left her in the basement and made it look like she fell but instead, he took her little body three streets away and put her in a garbage can and who does that?"
Bella's story has grabbed the hearts of many western New Yorkers. Many parents are holding their children extra tight after hearing what happened.
Wednesday News 4 spoke with Bonnie Glazer, who is the President of Child and Adolescent Services.
Glazer said, "Unfortunately we know that often the person who hurts a child, or crosses boundaries, is a person in the child's life who is trusted."
Glazer says if a trusted person attacks you're child, it's important for parents to teach their children ways to protect themselves.
First, it's important to explain to kids what behavior is appropriate and what's not. Also, they have the right to say "no," and get away from anyone who's crossing the line. And if they can't, they should kick, scream and make as much noise as they can.
If a child realizes a trusted person is trying to hurt them, it's key that they feel comfortable telling a trusted adult.
Glazer said, "It's very important that children are told explicitly that they have permission to talk about it is somebody is crossing the line. Parents need to invite their children to share information with them."
Glazer says if a parent notices any harmful behavior, they should either confront the person or contact local authorities immediately.
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