CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Nearly two years after the death of Alianna DeFreeze, her family is upset the abandoned home where she was tortured and killed remains standing.
The home on Fuller Avenue in Cleveland is a constant reminder of the heinous crimes committed against the 14-year-old who was kidnapped while going to school.
The Alianna DeFreeze Let’s Make a Change Foundation is holding a news conference Friday at 6 p.m. to pressure City Hall to act. The demolition of abandoned homes and buildings in Cleveland has been a cornerstone of the foundation’s call to action.
After Alianna’s death, the city committed $5 million dollars to tear down abandoned structures which is enough money to demolish about 500 properties.
The city has moved forward with demolitions but why the Fuller Avenue home hasn’t come down is a mystery.
Alianna’s stepmother, WyTonya DeFreeze, wrote about her frustrations on Facebook. She wrote in part, “I am really, really upset right now. How can we protect our children and women from sexual predators and other harmful things on there (sic) way to school or anywhere else if the problems that we face everyday isn’t taking (sic) care of promptly by our city leaders.”
The DeFreeze family is calling on residents to share their message, call city leaders and demand action.
Friday afternoon, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office said it has no objection to the home being torn down.
They said in March of 2018 they made their position clear with the following statement, “The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office has no objection to the release of property at 9412 Fuller Cleveland, Ohio as it pertains to its evidentiary value in the investigation and prosecution in the State of Ohio v. Christopher Whitaker CR 614021. The jury was able to view the crime scene during the trial. The trial is now over and the defendant has been sentenced. The crime scene has also been preserved by photo and video.”
The DeFreeze family is also working to get the state legislature to pass the “Alianna Alert” bill. The legislation would require schools to make at least one attempt to call parents within two hours of the start of school if a child is absent and parents have not already notified the schools of an absence.