“She always wanted to be a mom:” Community members raise money for murder victim’s funeral

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – “She always wanted to be a mom, she talked about that, you know, being a mom and she would have been a wonderful mom,” said Deb Merrifield, aunt of Anna Delacruz.

People stood wall to wall inside Sir Pizza in Lansing’s Old Town with heavy hearts and leaning on each other, mourning the loss of Anna Delacruz.

“I’m amazed at everybody that has came, everybody has shown their true love for her,” Merrifield said.

Tonight, dozens donated $20 at the door, bought raffle tickets and more to help pay for Delacruz’s funeral.

“Just paying for all her expenses and stuff, no one expects this of a child so you don’t plan for this, every little thing helps,” said Merrifield.

“It takes a burden off of the family so it’s a tragic death so we’re just trying to ease the family from having to worry about this,” said Joseph Bermudez, Anna’s cousin.

But it was more than donations, it was remembering Anna and the light her family says she brought to others’ lives.

“She was well-loved by everyone, she was a character, she made people laugh, she loved children, she loved to babysit,” said Merrifield.

The family also wanted to use tonight’s gathering to bring awareness to the gun violence that’s plagued the Capital City, especially involving young adults and teens – and the importance of finding justice.

“When your loved one dies and they were murdered from violence, you’re going to want to get that person caught, you want to see justice for them, so how would that happen if everyone keeps quiet? Everybody needs to speak up, this is not snitching, we need to take these violent kids, men and women off the streets,” said Bermudez.

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