Hundreds gathered for a memorial service for a 17-year-old girl who was kidnapped and found dead in her own car last month in downtown Los Angeles.
Fellow students, family and friends gathered at a park in Hollywood on Sunday to remember Lily Burk. Programs were handed out with her photo and guests signed books with warm messages about the teen.
The 17-year-old girl's body was found in her car on July 25, near Alameda and Fourth streets, CBS 2 reports.
Speakers talked about the teens many talents as a writer and in theater rather than the criminal case against her alleged killer.
"She loved music. She could sing better than everyone," said Lily's father Greg Burk fighting back tears. "When she came home everyday I heard her singing. I heard the signing before I heard her footsteps."
"I don't know how everything is going to be fine now. I don't have you, I don't have a piece of me. I don't understand it, I don't ever expect to," said Lily's friend Emma Wartzman, abc7.com reports.
Many at the service wept openly. Others hugged each other, and some sat in stunned silence. Three hundred folding chairs were spread out under a white canopy on a hilltop of Barnsdall Art Park in East Hollywood. Teenagers, some in colorful dresses and shorts, others wearing black, spread out on blankets on the grass.
It was a place where Burk, an only child, had enjoyed spending time with her family.
The ceremony opened with a song, "Golden Dream," accompanied by a guitar, and closed with a saxophone piece, "Lotus Blossom." Poems by Li-Young Lee and Shel Silverstein were read.
Classmates and teachers from Oakwood Secondary School paid tribute to Burk, a National Merit scholar who acted in school drama productions, "loved with ferocity," gave "the best hugs" and could be "a champion procrastinator."
Some sought to comfort Burk's parents. "To continue in this sorrowful world is the greatest triumph no one ever talks about," said Lewis MacAdams, a friend of the family. "We want you to be braver than we are," The Los Angeles Times reports.
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