Community comes together to talk solutions, safety after Alianna DeFreeze murder

Community comes together to talk solutions, safety after Alianna DeFreeze murder

Several community organizations including the Cleveland Police and RTA hosted an outreach event in response to the murder of a 14-year-old girl.

Alianna DeFreeze was on her way to school on an RTA bus when she went missing, and police found her body in an abandoned house days later.

Desiree Wilkes went to school with Alianna at EPrep Woodland Hills Campus.

"When my mother told me the bad news I just started crying," said Wilkes.

On Saturday Desiree's mother Shevette took advantage of a community outreach program hosted by RTA, Cleveland Police, Eprep Woodland Hills, and several other agencies and organizations.

"It still hurts the wounds are still open," said Wilkes.

Mike Gettings, Commander of the RTA Police Department, explained the purpose of the event.

"I think it's important in the healing process, but also to educate the community about what resources are out there, because many times there's a disconnect with the fact that we have resources and actually knowing about those resources. Unfortunately we're here because of another tragic event but I think it's good for the community to come together and talk about what we can do" said Gettings.

One resource is Operation Kidwatch where transit police fingerprinted and gave children ID's.

"It's an ID that allows the parent to have up to date information on their child should a tragic event strike," said Gettings.

There are still stuffed animals at the house where police found Alianna's body on Fuller Ave. Her death raised a lot of concerns for people who live in the surrounding community.

Wilkes said some of those concerns were calmed on Saturday as the event gave people the chance to meet and hear from officials from several public service groups.

"It's helpful and it's comforting," said Wilkes.

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