ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Friends, relatives and residents of Canton marked one year since 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera was killed by lighting candles and trying to spread a message of hope rather than sadness.

Officials say that hundreds of candles lit the night during the Sunday ceremony outside a community center in the town about 40 miles north of Atlanta.

Rivera’s body was found in the trash compactor of her Canton apartment complex. She had been reported missing after she left the complex’s playground to retrieve sodas at her apartment for her friends.

A 20-year-old maintenance man, Ryan Brunn, pleaded guilty to molesting and killing the girl.

In January, shortly after Brunn begun a life sentence for the crimes, he used his sweat shirt to hang himself in his prison cell.


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