(AP/WBEN) - A funeral was held for the 5-year-old Niagara Falls girl who police say was killed by a 16-year-old friend of the girl's family.
Isabella Tennant's body was found Monday morning in a garbage can a few blocks from her grandmother's house. Police say 16-year-old John Freeman, a trusted family friend, killed the girl with his bare hands Sunday night, then called a friend to help dispose of the body.
During the funeral Bella's mother, Crystal Walker realized that her daugher has left her a message on her cellphone some two weeks ago. She played the message for WIVB-TV and it said: "My mom is so beautiful...mommy if you’re hearing this, you’re beautiful. And if I wanna be alive I would wanna be like you because your home is in my heart...”
The teens were arrested shortly after the friend, 18-year-old Tyler Best, went to police and led them to the garbage can and a trash bag holding Isabella's body. Freeman is charged with second-degree murder. Best is charged with tampering with evidence. Both have pleaded not guilty.
More than 1,000 people attended the funeral at St. Louis Church in Buffalo.