It has been a somber week here in the Western New York Area as a community is in shock and mourns the loss of a precious little girl. On Monday a news alert came out around 9 am alerting viewers of a missing 5 year old little girl in Niagara Falls. Within a few hours the grim discovery was then announced that her body had been recovered in a garbage can a few blocks away from where she was spending the night at her Great Grandmother's house. This story and horrific incident hit home HARD. The little 5 yr old girl is Isabella Tennant. I've know Isabella's Dad, Mike, for what is 20 years now. My girlfriends and I hung out with him and his friends. Ohh the younger years! They were wonderful. I crossed Mike's path all the time out and about, whether it was at a bar or some local event. He was always Mr Smiley a smile to which was passed right onto his daughter. I even one time met "Bella" as she was so fondly called, I believe she was 3 or 4 at the time. Mike's birthday was Tuesday not to mention he is getting married soon. My friend my heart physically aches for you and I wish there was something more I could do.
Bella's precious body was laid to rest today with over a thousand people showing up to pay their respect and condolences. People whom the family knew and also people who they didn't. The outpouring from the community just makes your heart heal just a little bit.
Photo courtesy of WGRZ NBC Channel 2
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure"
Author: 1 Corinthians 13:7
This is every parents worst nightmare, a missing child that turns deadly tragic. I wish this on no one and I can not for the life of me figure out how the families are finding strength to get through the days that have since gone by. I can't answer the unanswerable question of why did this happen and what is going on with today's youth that allowed something so tragic to happen? I say youth, because in custody and charged with Murder in the Second Degree is a 16 year old boy, John Freeman, and another 18 year old boy, Tyler Best, charged with Evidence Tampering for assisting Freeman with hiding the body of little Bella. The 16 year old boy charged was a trusted family friend who had spent hours, days, and nights over at Bella's Great Grandma's house. Great Gram trusted him - I can't say others did, but she did. Bella's body was discovered in a garbage bag, within a garbage can that had other bags of garbage on top of it. Had Tyler Best not come forward with information relating to the location of Bella's body the NFPD said they may have never found her. Is this what today's youth have come to? A senseless heart wrenching killing and throwing away the body like garbage? My blood still boils even thinking about this entire week. Every time I turned on the news I was reminded of how precious life is and how easily it can be so senselessly taken away from you..(to Chaos, if you somehow find your way to read this, this is why I reached out to you!.. life is precious) Bella's story even made CNN and NBCNews. The nation stood in shock hearing about it. Hearts of every parent fell and children were hugged and held a little bit tighter on Monday night.
I've cried countless tears this week, I've struggled to find the words to write this post... I've talked to countless people asking how her Dad was holding up. I am FULL of anger, rage, and hatred to say the least. I am angry that this happened and utterly heart broken at the fact it was someone I know His dearest little angel of a Daughter, Bella now gone? It's like a nightmare that haunts you endlessly. It hurts to read acts like this in the news, but it hurts ten times worse when it's someone you know and you can't help them, you can't bring her back. But, you can just be there for them..
Friend's of Bella's parents have set up fundraising all over the place. Ranging from vigils with donation buckets, to benefits, to even an online donation account. I'm asking all of my followers, fellow bloggers, Mommy bloggers, non parents, and parents to please make some sort of donation to the Isabella Tennant Fund. The fund was set up to help pay for funeral costs and other costs that are associated with this horrific incident. Even if it's a dollar, it's one more dollar to help with every thing. No one prepares for something like this to happen. This has not only blindsided friends and family but also an entire community and the nation. We are all angry, upset, heart broken, and questioning why why why? We may never know why... but in the meantime we can help the families out.
When the family in Wilson, NY lost their home and all their belongings to an explosion all of you came through with flying colors. Donations of all kinds came from all over the country. Now, I ask of you the same for the Tennant's and Walker's.
Donations can be made at any First Niagara Bank in the name of Isabella Tennant Fund or also online at Isabella Sara Tennant Fundraising. The online account will close down in three days and 100% of the fund will go to Bella's parents.
There is a spot for comments on the donation page if you wish to leave your condolences. You can also read more about the fundraising efforts in the below listed Facebook Groups, as well as pages of Remembrance for Isabella.
Facebook Group - Isabella Tennant Fund
Facebook Page (23K+ Strong) Rest In Peace Isabella "Bella" Tennant
Facebook Group - RIP Isabella Sarah Tennant
If you'd like to read all the news media about this story you can see WGRZ - NBC Affliate's website here and search Isabella Tennant in the search box. There are also letters from Mike to the media that were read on air and published on their site.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike and Crystal during these awful times. May both of you and your families find the strength you need to get through the days a head. May you also know that Bella will never be forgotten - Love Kathy