Family Remembers Bella Tennant

August 27, 2012 Updated Aug 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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August 27, 2012 Updated Aug 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM EDT


Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW) - No words can describe the loss of a family member, especially when it appears to be at the hands of someone else.

The great-aunt of Isabella Tennant spoke to Eyewitness News about this loss.

Isabella, or Bella as she was called, was found dead Monday morning in a dumpster. The five-year-old was discovered missing by relatives hours before.

Ruth Thompson, Bella's great-aunt, remarks "Somebody that's defenseless. How can you do that? How can you take a five-year-old and brutally killed them? I don't understand."

These are questions Bella's family imagined they would ever have to answer -- until Monday.

Thompson and her family are left trying to cope with Bella's death.

Ruth says Bella spent a lot of time with her grandma, just as she did the night she was killed.

Thompson said "she loved her to death -- so did her mother and father. I don't know how anybody can do something like this."

Ruth adds Bella's mother, Crystal, is beyond grief stricken. Bella "was her world, her life, the air she breathed. I mean she loved her daughter with every inch of her body."

Ruth describes Bella as a bubbly little girl, who "liked to color, she liked to play, she liked to be with her grandma."

One of the suspects in custody was someone the family deeply trusted. It's shocking, as Ruth tells Eyewitness News "no mother should have to bury their child. Not at the age of five -- from the hands of a murderer."

Others are reaching out as well -- even those who don't know the family.

A group of young mothers came to the crime scene to say a prayer for Bella, telling Eyewitness News they were haunted by "just what we were feeling like when she was down there -- shoved in a garbage can. It's sad. It's just so sad."

Crystal's co-workers came together during the search for Bella, offering a two-thousand dollar reward. Co-workers also volunteered during the search and are now rallying around the family.