FORT WAYNE – About 100 people gathered Saturday on the Courthouse Green to remember Aliahna Lemmon, vowing that her death would spur changes to ensure other children dont suffer the same fate.
According to police, 39-year-old Michael Plumadore has confessed to striking the 9-year-old Lemmon with a brick before chopping up her body in the days before Christmas. Parts of the girls remains were found in a trash bin near a gas station, while her hands, feet and head were found in Plumadores freezer. Plumadore is facing a trial for murder this summer.
Saturdays event was organized by Always Remember, a group started by Rae Onnen, who said the event will happen every year.
This first one is for Aliahna, but also for all children who are neglected and abused, Onnen told the chilly crowd. Were just trying to make something happy out of a tragic situation.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said he doesnt give out many proclamations, but was glad to do so for this event, naming Saturday Always Remember Aliahna Day.
He said Aliahnas slaying galvanized the community and that the balloons launched at the event would be a tribute to innocence lost, while the proclamation would record how the city resolved to make changes.
Generations from now, they can find out what kind of community we lived, in, Henry said.
First Love Gathering Churchs Adrian Burney said there are thousands of children in the community waiting for people to step forward and make a difference in their lives.
These children need you and they need us, Burney said. This is a call to humanity. Help us save our community one child at a time and one family at a time.
After 10-year-old Carmen Vasquez wowed the crowd with her rendition of Martina McBrides Concrete Angel, about an abused girl who dreams of being loved, they released balloons into the air, watching them rise above the county courthouse and out over the city.