FAIRFIELD — Friends described a girl who always introduced herself to students with a smile.
Genelle Renee Conway-Allen loved poetry and music, posting lyrics or poems on her walls. The 13-year-old Suisun City resident was called a big-hearted, lovable girl by those who knew her.
Many shared memories of the Green Valley Middle School student who police say was kidnapped Jan. 31 and whose body was found the next day. Anthony L. Jones, 32, of Fairfield, was arrested a week later and is charged with murder, rape and kidnapping. Jones pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Conway-Allen was buried Thursday in a hillside plot at Benicia City Cemetery overlooking the Carquinez Strait. Her white casket was draped with an enlarged photo and covered in flowers. Friends and family piled more flowers around the site. A contingency of detectives and uniformed officers from the Fairfield Police Department were also in attendance.
The Rev. Jerry Pollard, with Gateway Church in Benicia, led the ceremony attended by about 100 people.
“I know that you would like to be anywhere else but here today,” Pollard told the group. “It’s important we gather today to honor her.”
The service featured several prayers and stories from those that knew Conway-Allen.
A group of friends struggled through stories of how Conway-Allen introduced herself while smiling and how they quickly became friends. They described her ability to craft poetry and write song lyrics.
Greg Hubbs, principal of Green Valley Middle School, described Conway-Allen, a seventh-grader, as someone who would always share what was on her mind. He said the day before her death, she came to Hubbs to make sure they had mended their relationship.
“She was such an energetic, honest kid,” Hubbs told the group. “But I loved that about her.”
Hubbs later told a group of reporters that the school had a hard time dealing with something he’s never had to face in 15 years as a principal.
Conway-Allen was last seen in the area of Railroad Avenue near Suisun. Her body was found the next day, dumped naked in Allan Witt Park in Fairfield.
Police quickly identified Jones as a suspect and put him under 24-hour surveillance. He was arrested early Feb. 8 in a residence on East Tabor Avenue, near where Conway-Allen was last photographed by security cameras.
Court records showed no criminal past in Solano County for Jones. Those records did detail several incidents between Jones and his wife, where she reported that she was in fear of her life. Jones was served with a restraining order the day Conway-Allen’s body was found. The couple had separated.
Jones is being held without bail and could face the death penalty for the murder and special circumstances of kidnap, rape and lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.