Family holds balloon release for 3-year-old killed by Ronald Phi - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Family holds balloon release for 3-year-old killed by Ronald Phillips

Sheila Marie Evans' family held a balloon release in her memory on Saturday. (Source WOIO) Sheila Marie Evans' family held a balloon release in her memory on Saturday. (Source WOIO)
Sheila Marie Evans' family held a balloon release in her memory on Saturday. (Source WOIO) Sheila Marie Evans' family held a balloon release in her memory on Saturday. (Source WOIO)
(OHIO) WOIO -

Sheila Marie Evans' family held a balloon release in her memory on Saturday. The 3-year-old girl was raped and killed by Ronald Phillips in Akron in 1993.

Clutching bright colored balloons, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends held each other as they close out what has been a long and painful time for their family.

Ohio execution: Man's deathbed statement addresses 'evil actions'

Phillips was executed by lethal injection without complications on Wednesday morning; Ohio's first execution attempt since 2014.

"I feel a lot of joy and love. Me too. Relief that baby girl finally got justice and closure," said Renee Mundell and Donna Hudson, Sheila Marie's half-sister and aunt.

Why has it taken so many years to put a convicted child rapist and murderer to death?

Phillips spent more than 20 years on death row since his conviction. After several delay attempts by Phillips, the U.S. Supreme Court granted approval for the execution process to continue.

The family has set up a Facebook page called  "Justice For Sheila Marie." They're asking everyone to release balloons and post the pictures and videos to the page.

A look at the 3 death row inmates Ohio plans to execute in 2017

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