Vigil held for Bullhead City girl found dead - 8 News NOW

Vigil held for Bullhead City girl found dead

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BULLHEAD CITY, AZ. -- As a memorial grows at the grave site where Bella was found, it's more than evident that the loss of such a young life has affected everyone in the small town of Bullhead City.

Police confirmed Thursday that the body found Thursday is that of missing Bullhead City 8-year-old, Isabella Grogan-Cannella.

Bullhead City Police said the child who liked to be called Bella was buried in a shallow grave not far from her home. The suspect arrested for her death is 26-year-old Justin Rector, a man who has a criminal past.

But, Rector isn't the focus of the Bullhead City community right now.

There were around 100 people who came together for a candlelight vigil for Bella Thursday night.

Attendees covered the area in stuffed animals and tied balloons to anything they could find, while many had tears in their eyes as they lit candles and held their children close by.

“I'm glad she's home safe with God. She's safe now, no longer in harms way, no longer being hurt, she's safe, Eric Kusko a parent at the vigil said.

Eric Kusko sort of has a connection to Bella because his sister taught her in Sunday school. He also has an 8-year-old daughter himself. He said when his children heard about Bella's disappearance they were terrified.

“What if this guy comes after them? They didn't know what happened to Bella,” Kusko said.

Hearing that the man who hurt Bella was caught, Kusko told his kids that Rector was now in jail, and he reinforced why safety is important.

“He knew Bella. He lived with Bella, and that's why when we go to the store we explain to you guys you need to stay with us because there are weirdoes that will just snatch you, Kusko said to his kids.

Residents at the vigil for Bella said prayed and the mayor spoke.

“This has been an experience that none of has ever felt before in our city, Jack Hakim, Mayor of Bullhead City said.

Mayor Hakim said a memorial for Bella is being planned for the next few weeks. It will be held on a nearby sports field


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