Family Searches For Answers While Remembering the Life Lost

December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 1, 2011 at 7:39 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Jaclyn Asztalos

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December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 1, 2011 at 7:39 AM EDT


Amherst, N.Y. (WKBW) - it's been a year since he death of Bianca Cartagena but her family is still searching for answers. Last night, they took a break from the case to remember the eight-year-old little girl. Two-hundred people gathered on Greengage Circle in Amherst where Bianca's body was found under a pile of blankets in her mother's home.

The Erie County Medical Examiner determined she died of asphyxiation but couldn't say if it was accidental or intentional. Her mother was found semi-conscious in the backyard. These mysterious circumstances of Bianca's death caused her father to investigate further. He hired a private pathologist to perform a second autopsy. She determined that her death was a homicide.

The family wanted to focus less on the case and more on remembering Bianca's life at the vigil, Wednesday night.

"It's an ongoing investigation. Right now, it's just about Bianca. It's not about the case. For tonight, it's just about remembering her and what she did," Bianca's father Reuben Cartagena said.

Friends, family and Bianca's young classmates attended the vigil, singing songs and light candles. They also watched a slide show of Bianca's life.

As for the girl's mother, authorities said she has been uncooperative throughout the entire investigation. Police and the family continue to search for answers.