GOLDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) - Hundreds of people filled a southwest Missouri church to say goodbye to a 12-year-old girl who was abducted as she played in a park, then sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
The Golden City High School gym was filled to capacity Wednesday to honor Adriaunna Horton, who was reported missing Aug. 19 after she was seen getting into a vehicle in Golden City. Her body was found two days later in Dade County.
Bobby Bourne Jr., 34, of Lockwood, is charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape, statutory rape and child kidnapping in her death.
During Wednesday's service, Brother David Powell, pastor of Golden City First Christian Church, said the days surrounding the girl's death were "full of pain."
"It's hard to make sense of what happened because it is hard to understand evil," Powell said, "but Adriaunna is not the victim, she is a victor and she's singing in Heaven today."
He said the girl will never be forgotten, The Joplin Globe reported.
"We won't look at each other the same," he said. "We need to rally around each other and love one another like Adriaunna would have wanted. We rejoice in her life and celebrate her loving spirit and beautiful smile."
To remember Adriaunna's love of horses, her casket was carried to the Golden City IOOF Cemetery on a horse-drawn wagon. In front was one mounted horseman leading another saddled horse without a rider.