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State

Mourners pack funeral for slain Chicago-area girl

LIBERTYVILLE — An overflow crowd of mourners attended Wednesday's funeral in suburban Chicago for an 11-year-old girl who authorities said was stabbed to death by her half-sister.

The service at St. John Lutheran Church in Libertyville drew so many people that the funeral was also shown on televisions in a church basement to accommodate everyone, according to a report in The (Arlington) Heights Daily Herald.

The Associated Press isn't identifying the girl who died in order to protect the identity of her 14-year-old half-sister, who is charged as a juvenile with first-degree murder in the Jan. 21 slaying at a Mundelein home.

The AP typically does not publish the name of juveniles who are accused of crimes.

Prosecutors have said the teenager stabbed the younger girl more than 30 times and told investigators the 11-year-old didn't appreciate all she had done for her, including making dinner and doing the younger girl's chores.

The girls lived in the same Mundelein home, about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, and attended the same Lake County school that is affiliated with the church where the funeral was held.

Lake County's district attorney has said he'll decide in several weeks whether to try to have the case moved from juvenile court to an adult court.

During Wednesday's service, the Rev. Kevin Raddatz said the fifth-grader loved art and cheerleading and sang in the junior choir.

"When we had our talent show, I think she was one of the first to sign up," Raddatz said, according to a transcript of the eulogy that was posted on the church's website. "She had a cheer she wanted to show us."

Tami Forman, a family friend, said the service was "sad, but beautiful."

Another friend of the family, Christine Coleman, recalled the girl's bright personality.

"I will remember her as a happy-go-lucky, bubbly, sparkly, smiling girl," Coleman said. "She always had a twinkle in her eye."

The teenager remained in a juvenile detention center and was expected to be arraigned Friday.

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