Mourners left wooden crosses, angels and other reminders of a 2-year-old girl that made headlines worldwide as "Baby Grace".
The memorial service, held in Mentor, OH, previously the home of Riley Sawyers and her family, before she and her mother moved to Texas.
Riley, whose body was identified as that of Baby Grace, was beaten and tortured by her mother, Kimberly Trenor, and her husband/companion, Clyde Zeigler II.
"Hundreds came Sunday to the Brunner Funeral Home to remember Riley Sawyers and other loved ones as part of the Brunner's Annual Tree of Remembrance Service. Those who honored their family also took a moment to comfort family and friends of Riley, whose body was found floating in a plastic container in Galveston Bay this summer."
Riley's relatives are touched by the support and telephone calls they are receiving from around the country, said Laura DePledge, the Sawyers' attorney. Relatives are raising money to help bring Riley's body to Ohio to be buried.Though the physical memorial service was held in Ohio, Riley Sawyers and "Baby Grace" will be mourned much further away.
Donations can be made in her name at the FirstMerit Bank, 7800 Reynolds Road, Mentor, 44060.
When it was speculated that Baby Grace's body might be that of Madeline McCann, a missing English girl, papers all over the United Kingdom and Europe carried her story.
In Texas, after the body of Baby Grace was found, people volunteered time and information hoping to help identify her. Tips from all over the world poured in. Police worked around the clock to sift through these bits of hope.
People sent in money to raise a reward fund. Candlelight vigils were held. People prayed.
One man in England wrote President Bush, asking why more wasn't done to find out why more wasn't being done to identify Baby Grace.
Letters and comments from Scotland, England, France and elsewhere speculated who this small girl might be.
Now the world knows: it was Riley Sawyers.
People gathered in Ohio to mourn Riley: some had known her, some had not, but all were saddened by her story.
Sunday, hundreds of people in Mentor, OH said prayers and honored the memory of Riley Sawyers.
Thousands upon thousands elsewhere, from all over the world, sent their thoughts and prayers to join them.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mourners Recall Riley "Baby Grace" Sawyers
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.