Comfort and support in faith

The people of Grefrath in the Lower Rhine region bid farewell to Mirco, who was killed, with a funeral service. About a week after the body of the ten-year-old boy was found, some 600 people gathered Thursday at St. Laurentiuskirche together for an ecumenical funeral service.

On the market square in front of the church, numerous Grefrath residents also followed the ceremony via a video screen. Earlier, the citizens of Grefrath there 500 white balloons with the inscription "Rest in peace, Mirco" had let rise into the evening sky.

Next to the altar, organizers had placed a large photo of the dead boy. Father Johannes Quadflieg said, "Mirco is dead, we must all understand that." His young life had been taken from him in such a brutal way, he said. With regard to the perpetrator and his family, Quadflieg urged people not to repay evil with evil.

The funeral service was prepared by the Catholic and Protestant congregations of the town as well as the Free Christian Church of Krefeld, of which Mirco's parents are members. They themselves did not attend the memorial service, as they were traveling with their other children. As a representative of the North Rhine-Westphalian government, Media Minister Angelica Schwall-Duren (SPD) wanted to come to Grefrath. Also members of the special commission "Mirco", emergency chaplains and teachers of the boy had announced themselves.

Mirco was on 3. Disappeared last September. A large-scale search operation with 1.000 police officers as well as divers, helicopters and Tornados of the German armed forces remained unsuccessful in the days that followed. Only in the past week, the suspect Olaf H. arrested. The man confessed and had led investigators to the scene of the crime. Since then, the family man from nearby Schwalmtal has been in custody on suspicion of murder and sexual abuse, among other charges. He is said to have arrested Mirco on the evening of 3. September, have abducted him in a forest and then killed him.

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Christina Cherry
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