memorial genelle, 2/8/13

Linda August, the foster mother of Genelle Renee Conway-Allen, looks at the memorial for the slain 13-year-old during a blessing ceremony Friday evening at Allan Witt Park in Fairfield. Conway-Allen's body was found in the park near the memorial last week. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)


Hundreds mourn Suisun City girl, call for justice

By From page A1 | February 09, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Hundreds of people came together Friday night in grief, remembrance and to call for justice after the death 13-year-old Genelle Conway-Allen.

Just a few feet from where her body was discovered a week earlier, family, friends and concerned community members joined to reclaim Allan Witt Park. Conway-Allen was reported missing by her guardian at around 5:45 p.m. Jan. 31 and was found dead early Feb. 1 in the park.

The Faith PAC, a group of pastors from the area, performed a moment of blessing at the site. Numerous pastors including the Rev. David Isom and the Rev. Todd Bertani offered prayer for Conway-Allen and the community.

They also prayed to God that he reclaim the site where Conway-Allen’s body was found and make it a place of safety, free from violence and perpetrators, a place where people could be unified instead of divided.

“We ask that you return this to a safe place, a place of community, a place of life, a place of hope,” said Raymond Courtemanche of the Matt Garcia Foundation.

Faith PAC created ribbons representing each person who lost their life to homicide in Fairfield. They hung those ribbons on a pole next to Conway-Allen’s memorial.

Isom said he hoped he doesn’t have “to put another ribbon on this pole.”

Grief swept over many in the crowd as they left a note or gift and shared their final moments with Conway-Allen at the memorial.

Eric May, the man who discovered Conway-Allen’s body, was among those who were overwhelmed with sadness. He knelt, crying, over a makeshift memorial that said, “In loving memory of our beloved angel child Genelle.”

He said he was just praying, praying “for it to end.”

There was also a feeling anger among some that this could happen to someone so young.

Maberido Sadao came with his wife Cheryl and 2-year-old Emma to mourn for Conway-Allen. Though they didn’t know the her, Maberido and Cheryl Sadao said the girl’s death deeply troubled them, especially since they are raising a young girl themselves.

“It’s disgusting,” Cheryl Sadao said. “She was just a kid. She didn’t deserve this.”

The news Friday that an arrest was made in Conway-Allen’s killing came as a great relief to community members such as Lucy Peneda.

Anthony Lamar Jones, 32, of Fairfield, was arrested on suspicion of Conway-Allen’s murder, kidnapping and rape.

Peneda has two teenage girls of her own. She said the thought that this could have been one of them, that one her girls could have been killed and left naked “like trash,” was just too unbearable. There needs to be justice, she said.

“It is unacceptable that our young children could ever be treated this way,” she said. “This should not have happened. It cannot happen anymore.”

Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San

Heather Ah San covers Rio Vista, features and general news for the Daily Republic. She received her bachelors of art degree from the University of Oregon.

Discussion | 5 comments

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  • SalimFebruary 08, 2013 - 10:24 pm

    With all due respect. When we gathered tonight at Allan Witt Park, we did not gather as "strangers." We gathered as concerned community members who care about what goes on in our city and in support of this young girl's family.

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  • Glen FaisonFebruary 08, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    @Salim: Point taken. How's this edited version?

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  • SalimFebruary 08, 2013 - 10:47 pm

    @ Glen Faison: this edited version speaks volumes to the spirit of unity we displayed this evening.

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  • AnitaFebruary 10, 2013 - 6:28 pm

    Hello, Does anyone know if a proper funeral or burial service will be provided for Gazelle. I have not heard of any service in the Daily Repulblic as of today. She is an Angel of God's now and I hope that services are being prepared. I would like to make a donation and pray that others do as well. If there is not a fund, then us, as a community, need to create one in her name. May Gazelle rest in peace with our Heavenly Father among the Angels.....Blessing to all!! Ann

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  • MeganFebruary 12, 2013 - 6:15 pm

    Genelle is a ward of the state. The state will assume the costs of the service. There is nothing set as of yet.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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