Slain Georgia girl buried in Puerto Rico

Jorelys Rivera disappeared December 2 near a playground at a Canton, Georgia, apartment complex.

Story highlights

  • Hundreds of mourners filled the funeral home in Puerto Rico
  • The route to the cemetery was lined with hundreds of people
  • The carriage holding her body was pulled by horses

Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old girl who was abducted and killed early this month near her north Georgia home, was buried Tuesday in a service in this town on the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

Hundreds of mourners filled the funeral home and spilled out the doors for the service.

Afterward, the carriage holding holding her body was pulled by horses -- her favorite animal -- to the cemetery.

The 1- to 2-kilometer (1-mile) route to the cemetery was lined with people, many of whom said they had not known the girl or her family, but were there simply because they had been moved by her story.

Mayor Walter Torres paid the cost of the service.

As a four-person group played traditional Puerto Rican and Christmas music, Jorelys' mother Joseline appeared calm and solemn.The girl's father, Ricardo Galarza, appeared disturbed and upset.

    Just Watched

    Suspect arrested in murder of 7-year-old

Suspect arrested in murder of 7-year-old 00:39
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Georgia girl's slaying suspect in court

Georgia girl's slaying suspect in court 02:04
PLAY VIDEO

He told CNN last week that he last saw his daughter two years ago when she visited for the summer. She was supposed to have returned for Christmas.

    The girl's maternal grandmother was barely able to speak and remain upright.

    Jorelys disappeared December 2 near a playground at a Canton, Georgia, apartment complex. Searchers found her body in a compactor-type trash bin there three days later.

    Authorities have accused 20-year-old Ryan Brunn -- a maintenance worker at the complex -- of killing her.

    Jorelys died of blunt force trauma to the head and was stabbed and sexually assaulted, according to authorities.

    A date for Brunn's arraignment has not been set. David Cannon Sr., one of Brunn's court-appointed attorneys, has said that his client will plead not guilty.

    On Sunday, Rivera told WAPA that if authorities have evidence showing Brunn killed her daughter, he should face the death penalty.

    "The truth is I can't tell you if it was him or if it wasn't him, because I had never seen him before," she said.