Hundreds Gather To Mourn Mariha Smith

Published On: Oct 02 2011 04:34:46 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 05 2011 05:31:11 AM EDT
DETROIT -

Several hundred people have attended funeral services for a 5-year-old Detroit girl whose body was found burned in a vacant house hours before her mother noticed she was missing from their home.

The services Friday for Mariha Trenice Smith were held at Triumph Church in Detroit.

Mariha had been strangled and her skull crushed. Police said her body was set on fire after she died.

Firefighters found her body about 8 a.m. on July 24. Konesha Smith told police she first noticed her daughter missing about noon that day. Smith said she last saw Mariha asleep about 3:30 a.m. on a floor in the home.

Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee spoke at the funeral, urging the public to be aware of the tragedy.

"Where is the outrage? Where is the march? Where are the organizations at?" he said. "We're doing this to us ... if you know something you need to say something."

Several of the girl's relatives have been questioned by police and taken lie detector tests.

A representative from the community group Detroit 300, Raphael Johnson, also spoke at the funeral, directly addressing whoever is responsible for the girl's death.

"If you up in here, you better hope the police catch you first," Johnson said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in her slaying.

Anonymous tips can be left at 800-SPEAKUP and online at www.1800SpeakUp.org.

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