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Friends and Family Remember Slain Rosemont Teen

A vigil was held Wednesday to honor a Rosemont girl whose body was found this week.

When Jessica Funk-Haslam was 5, she was a big fan of Chuck Norris.

At least that's what it says on a trading card from her brief stint in martial arts.

About 100 friends, family and community members held a vigil Wednesday near the site in where . Authorities are treating her death as a homicide, .

Jessica was remembered by her friends as a friendly girl with a quirky style. She was fond of knee-high socks and wore lots of pink, black and white to school at .

"She was a kid anybody could identify on campus," Principal Garrett Kirkland said. "She was her own person."

Kirkland said he spent time Wednesday reading through responses Jessica filled out during , the school's anti-bullying campaign in October.

"There's nothing in there except normal middle school stuff," he said.

Dozens of Einstein and students were at Wednesday's vigil–some staring silently at the flowers, candles and remembrances left for Jessica–and many sharing tearful hugs.

"She was nice, funny, always happy, always smiling," said Bethanee Hancock, a friend dressed in a homemade "RIP Jessica" shirt.

"She was always outgoing and never let anybody get to her," Bethanee said. "If anybody said something about her, she didn't really care."

Thelma Finch said her daughter, a seventh-grader at Einstein, was hit hard by the news.

"She's been sleeping on our bedroom floor," Finch said. "Her first thing was, 'I can't believe she's dead, I just talked to her yesterday.' "

Both of Jessica's parents and several extended family members were at Wednesday's vigil, as were at least a half-dozen reporters and television crews.

"She was a happy kid–one of those fun to be around a lot of the time," her mother, Tara Funk-Haslam said.

Tara Funk-Haslam said she and her daughter had their disagreements, but "she wasn't one that ran off all the time."

Students at Einstein are scheduled to wear pink, black and white on Friday, and will leave remembrances of Jessica in a time capsule, Kirkland said.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department officials will give an update on the case .

Stacy Bell March 08, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Donations are being accepted to cover the cost of a casket piece through community donations at no cost to the family on PayPal stacy@designsbystacyjeanne.com or by visiting www.designsbystacyjeanne.com and click on the donation button. Any additional donations beyond the cost of the casket piece will be given to the family.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Hi Stacy, is there a way people can find out more about where those donations will go? I think people would be happy to help, but would want to be sure their donations will help the family. I've also heard a benefit account will be set up soon. Are you working with that?
Stacy Bell March 08, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I am not working with the benefit account. I am a community member who has already contacted the middle school and Golden Empire where my daughter attends to help organize the effort. The donations I am requesting will help provide a floral casket piece done by myself, any remaining funds would be given to the family. I have lived in the community for over 7 years and have children of my own that attend(ed) the Rosemont schools (some are now adults).
MJ March 08, 2012 at 09:58 PM
How can we donate for burial needs? While I think it's wonderful to donate to a floral piece, we need to make sure the family has enough money for a burial first. Has an account for that been set up yet?
Cody Kitaura (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Hi Maggie, an official memorial account has been set up. I'll post info soon.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) March 08, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Thanks for the info, Stacy. What is your fundraising goal for the floral piece?
Stacy Bell March 09, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Any extra donations I receive will be going to the family, I'd be glad to put that into the memorial account if the family prefers.
Stacy Bell March 09, 2012 at 07:07 AM
My goal is $250.00, the wholesale supplier has also agreed to donate flowers for the casket piece as well. I gave my card to the Chaplin to have a family member contact me so I can coordinate with the services.
MJ March 09, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I would hope all flowers and labor for any flower piece by http://www.designsbystacyjeanne.com/ would be donated so that ALL money donated could go directly for burial costs and to the family.
Stacy Bellski March 09, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I work a regular job and have 4 generations in my home, one of which is my granddaughter that I have custody of. This is only a side business. IF I had the personal funds to do this on my own I absolutely would, of course I'm not asking for labor charges. I'm only trying to raise enough to cover the actual costs. the owner of Flora Fresh wholesale distributor has kindly offered donations to this. I won't need the full $250.00. I have raised some money at work as well. And again, any monies left over would absolutely go to the family.
Jolene Hendrickson March 12, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I would think donations to the burial and to the family is what is really needed now besides I'm cautious of where I donate my money to.
Stacy Bellski March 13, 2012 at 05:10 AM
I spoke to the secretary at the middle school and another at the funeral home today. A casket piece has already been ordered, therefore all donations will go to the Wells Fargo account. Thank you to everyone who donated to the various donation funds or purchased through the fundraiser, as i know there have been several of us working towards the same goal of helping this family.
Brad March 13, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Thank you for being willing to help the family out, Stacy. Same goes for the other groups and individuals who have done the same. I, for one, appreciate your desire to help them through a difficult time. I hope that the family has been able to cover the expenses without any problem.

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