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Funeral to be held Monday for slain Georgia girl

From Dania Alexandrino, For CNN
December 12, 2011 -- Updated 1615 GMT (0015 HKT)
A service was held Saturday in Canton, Georgia, for Jorelys Rivera, 7. She will be buried Tuesday in Puerto Rico
A service was held Saturday in Canton, Georgia, for Jorelys Rivera, 7. She will be buried Tuesday in Puerto Rico
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Jorelys Rivera's mother says she is trying to stay strong for her daughters
  • The slain girl's father says he is "relieved" her remains are in Puerto Rico
  • The girl, 7, will be buried in Penuelas on Tuesday, he says
  • The child disappeared December 2 and was found dead three days later

San Juan, Puerto Rico (CNN) -- A wake for a 7-year-old girl abducted and killed near her north Georgia home will be held in Puerto Rico on Monday, her family said.

Friends and loved ones will honor Jorelys Rivera at a day-long wake in the family's hometown of Penuelas. She will be buried Tuesday, said her father, Ricardo Galarza.

The girl's mother, Joseline Rivera, arrived in Puerto Rico Sunday on the same airplane that carried her daughter's remains, CNN affiliate WAPA reported.

She said she was trying to stay strong for her other two daughters.

"I tell them, she was a princess and she is with God the father now, who is going to take care of her," Rivera told WAPA.

Joseline Rivera wore a T-shirt with Jorelys' picture as she walked through the airport, cradling her 1-year-old daughter in one arm and holding her 4-year-old daughter's hand.

Galarza said Sunday that he was "relieved" that Jorelys' remains had arrived in Puerto Rico.

He told CNN last week that he last saw his daughter two years ago when she visited for the summer. She was supposed to have returned for Christmas.

Jorelys disappeared December 2 near a playground at a Canton, Georgia, apartment complex. Searchers found her body in a compactor-type trash bin there three days later.

Suspect arrested in murder of 7-year-old

Authorities have accused 20-year-old Ryan Brunn -- a maintenance worker at the complex -- of killing her.

Jorelys died of blunt force trauma to the head and was stabbed and sexually assaulted, according to authorities.

A date for Brunn's arraignment has not been set. David Cannon Sr., one of Brunn's court-appointed attorneys, has said that his client will plead not guilty.

On Sunday, Rivera told WAPA that if authorities have evidence showing Brunn killed her daughter, he should face the death penalty.

"The truth is I can't tell you if it was him or if it wasn't him, because I had never seen him before," she said.

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