NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Hundreds of people packed Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls Monday night, paying tribute to a little girl who never made it to kindergarten.
Five-year-old Isabella Sarah Tennant was murdered overnight. Police have arrested 16-year-old John Freeman and charged him with killing the little girl with his bare hands. Freeman's friend allegedly helped him move Bella's body, dumping it in a trash can.
This story struck close to home with many people, including Niagara Falls Police. Many were heartbroken when Bella's body was discovered. They had hoped to bring the girl home to her mother.
At the vigil, hundreds lit candles and sang "Amazing Grace," passing around buckets to help the family pay for funeral expenses and a headstone. Bella's mother was present, surrounded by the enormous group of strangers who just wanted to comfort her in her time of immeasurable loss.
Alana Herenandez said, "When I found out this morning, I actually had my 8-year-old little sister sleeping next to me in bed. It hit close to home."
"This could happen to anyone," said Christina Conte. "Our heart goes out to her and her family. We just pray for them. We pray Bella's never forgotten."
The large crowd Monday night may be seen down at the courthouse on Tuesday. Organizers asked those in attendance to be present for Freeman's arraignment.
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A jury will now decide the fate of a teenager accused of killing his girlfriend's young son.