Vigil Held For 5-Year-Old Mariha Smith

DNA Test Confirms Burned Body Is 5-Year-Old Detroit Girl

Published On: Oct 02 2011 04:37:26 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 05 2011 03:30:16 AM EDT
DETROIT -

Family and friends gathered in the 2900 block of Waverly on Saturday night on Detroit's west side for the vigil of 5-year-old Mariah Smith.

Friday DNA confirmed the girl found inside a burned out house in Detroit was Mariha, she had been missing since Sunday.

According to investigators, the 5-year-old was smothered then set on fire.

The little girl was taken from home through a window, according to girls mother.

"Just to see it happened next door, its very sad. It might not be family but I cried a few times," said neighbor Damara Hawkins. Hawkins lives next to the house where Mariha's body was found.

"It breaks my heart that everyday were seeing someone putting a flower out, lighting a candle, for a little 5-year-old girl that just died the way she did. It just does something to your heart," said neighbor Dominica Dooms, who also lives next door.

One woman drove from Southfield to pay her respects. "It just hurts me," said Renee Morton. "My heart hurts."

Mariha's family is seeking donations for the funeral. According to the family, a memorial fund will be set up on Monday.

Meanwhile, the search continues for Mariha's killer. Police have a surveillance video of the man they believe may be a person of interest. The man is described as in his 20s standing 5 feet 9 inches tall with short hair. Last Sunday, the man bought only 41 cents of gas and put in a beer can at a gas station, not to far from where Mariah's body was found.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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