Vigil held for slain child as police look for killer

Updated:

A small memorial at an apartment playground honors Jorelys Rivera

CANTON, Ga.,None - A memorial continues to grow at the playground inside a Canton apartment complex, the site where a 7-year-old girl went missing early Friday night, only to be found dead days later inside a Dumpster.

Officers set up a road block outside the River Ridge at Canton apartment complex Monday night, with officers questioning everyone coming and going, trying to find and clues as to who killed Jorelys Rivera.

A candlelight vigil was held at the playground Monday evening. Residents, parents and even some of Jorelys’ classmates joined in to say a prayer of the girl.

“We felt we need to bring her a little something and let him say goodbye,” parent Tia Howard said.

Many parents found it hard to explain to their children what had happened there.

“It was hard to think of the words and explain it to her. Pretty rough,” Scott Massey said.

Just hours before, police made the gruesome discovery of Jorelys’ body inside a Dumpster.

Investigators said the body was brutally beaten.

“A seven year old was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said. “We don't know what has happened.”



“The abduction occurred at the apartment complex. We also believe the murder occurred at the apartment complex. Evidence, thus far, points to that,” Keenan said.

Jorelys vanished Friday around 5:30 p.m. from a playground at apartment.

“I don't know anyone who would do this. A crazy person. What would be on their minds to kill a seven year old?” neighbor Pamela Asansa said.

“They find her in a dumpster that was right here. I think they could have been quicker with this investigation. That’s honestly what I believe,” Maria Rodriguez told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt.

Residents told Cavitt they are afraid, and hoping for a quick arrest.

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“I’m afraid to walk. I’m afraid. My son’s already told me he’s going to bring me a gun,” said resident Linda Thomason.

On Saturday, Canton police said they were considering the case as a possible child abduction.

Two days later, the FBI and GBI joined the massive search until the child’s body was discovered shortly before 1:30 p.m. Monday.

During the search, investigators said the child's family was being cooperative, but police said they had not ruled anyone out as a person of interest. They said they searched the family's apartment and vehicle. 

"We're looking everywhere. There's no place we're not going to look. So, yes everybody's of interest. Nobody's been ruled out," Hall said at the time.

Police said Jorelys left the playground and went back home to get drinks for her friends but say she never returned after she left her apartment. Investigators said that they found soda cans behind an apartment building and were analyzing them for any information.

Canton Police asked anyone with information about the case to contact them at 770-704-7074.

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