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.
A Town of Tonawanda restaurant owner has been arrested and charged with strangulation and assault.
A house became engulfed in flames on Route 243, in Rushford, early Wednesday morning.
Law enforcement agencies in El Paso County, Colorado have made an arrest in the hit-and-run death of a western New York native.
Kenmore Mercy Hospital is closing its 3 West Patient Care Unit in January, affecting about 30 associates at the hospital.
The suspension of a 6-year-old boy for kissing a girl at school is raising questions about whether the peck should be considered sexual harassment.
Lakes will remain active on and off through the weekend.