Cleveland, OH (WOIO) - Dionne DeFreeze says she’s still grieving nearly two years later.
“You know, if you don’t see our faces on TV or hear our voices, it’s because we’re still dealing with it," said DeFreeze.
She said Thursday was the first time she went to the abandoned house on Fuller Ave. where her 14-year-old niece, Alianna DeFreeze, was kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered by Christopher Whitaker in January 2017.
“I always avoided that house. Last time I was in that area, I had a panic attack.” she said.
DeFreeze was surprised to see the house still standing, not boarded with windows open, and doors exposed. She decided to snap a few photos and take action.
The grieving aunt doesn’t understand why it’s taking the powers that be in this city so long to tear the house down.
“Nothing was done. Nobody’s even concerned about the people in the neighborhood. It’s like a slap in the face,” said DeFreeze.
City leaders tell Cleveland 19, it’s been a process.
An employee from Land Bank, which owns the house, tells us the house is set to be demolished next week after going through several steps.
Alianna’s family members say all they can do is wait and hope.
“It’s like a reminder. We can’t get past it,"said DeFreeze.
“I want to see something done, like soon."