Remembering Jessica, Six Months Later

Local residents gathered Friday at Rosemont Community Park to remember Jessica Funk-Haslam.

They came not just to remember, but to heal.

Standing in the long shadows at Rosemont Community Park on Friday evening, about 20 people gathered at a vigil for Jessica Funk-Haslam, .

Rosemont resident Treva Kelly organized the vigil this week to help community members mark the tragic milestone and to celebrate Funk-Haslam's life.  Kelly, who isn't connected to the Funk-Haslam family but said she just wanted to help, is hoping Friday's tribute raises awareness in the case.

"It’s a time to heal for the kids, to focus on positive things about Jessica," she said.  "Ultimately, we want to create more leads."

Several of the teenager's friends attended the memorial and decorated pink ribbons trimmed with zebra patterns, which they planned on posting around Rosemont.  They sat on green bleachers overlooking the baseball field where Funk-Haslam's body was found, talking quietly about the sadness of losing their friend.

“I feel bad for her parents and it’s sad that they have to go through this," said Alexis Terrell.  "I think it makes them feel good for us to support them.” 

Funk-Haslam, who has been described as friendly and happy by students who knew her at Albert Einstein Middle School, is thought to have entered the park around 6:30 p.m. on March 5.  

Based on surveilliance video detectives said they tracked her movements from the Sacramento RT light rail station near Watt Avenue and Manlove Road.  A pedestrian early the next morning found the girl's body beaten and stabbed in a baseball dugout at the park.

There have been no recent developments in the case, according to detectives from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.  Deputies are hoping a surveilliance video released Thursday, showing Haslam-Funk in the park on the night she was slaim, might bring forward new information.

“(The case) is still ongoing," said Sgt. Jim Barnes.  "It's not cold at all.”  

Barnes said the sheriff's department continues to get new tips about the crime and has received 335 since March.  Deputies have canvassed roughly 200 homes in the neighborhood, hoping to find someone who saw Funk-Haslam or her killer. 

Another video released in March showed someone that detectives are calling

There are currently no suspects but community members hope the vigil triggers a break in the case.  Don Nottoli, a county supervisor for District 5, attended the gathering Friday and assured residents that officials are taking steps to solve the crime.

“Just because six months have passed, it doesn’t mean people have forgotten," said Nottoli.

Note: There is a for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of Funk-Haslam's killer.  Anyone with information about the case can call the sheriff's department at (916) 874-5115.  Those who wish to remain anonymous can send a text to 274637.  Include "SACTIPS" in the body of the message along with the tip.

Tina Wong September 08, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Thank you, Treva, for organizing this. Jessica is in our hearts and we need to find the killer.
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