Local News

One Year Later, Emotions Still Run High After Death Of Wayne County Girl

Posted May 22, 2003 4:08 a.m. EDT

— Wayne County was the site of an emotional tribute Thursday to a little girl killed one year ago. Precious Whitfield was just 5 years old when she was abducted and murdered. Although time has passed, but the emotions still have not. .

Before the service, Michelle Whitfield, Precious' mother, seemed overwhelmed as hundreds of children filled the cafeteria at Northeast Elementary.

"Seeing everybody here brought a lot of memories of my child and I'm vrey glad and I'm very fortunate that she had the chance to meet every one of y'all," she said.

Precious was kidnapped, killed and taken to a Wayne County bridge. Her neighbor, Eric Lane, is charged with her murder.

The memorial service focused on the life and memories Precious brought to other children.

"She was nice and I used to go over to her house and she used to come over to my house," said Kevin Smith, Precious' friend.

The community also put together a memorial garden in front of Northeast Elementary.

"I remember how forunate she was to come to this school and meet so many bright, individual children here that care so much for her," Whitfield said.

Her friends say Precious would have appreciated the gathering.

"She would be happy about it because I know she loves her friends and she'll always be looking up at us from heaven," Adriana Parker, Precious' friend.

The Wayne County district attorney says he will seek the death penalty against Lane. Lane's trial date has not been set.