CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM-CLEVELAND, Ohio-The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has confirmed that the body discovered in an abandoned home on Fuller Avenue in Cleveland Sunday evening is that of 14-year-old Alianna Defreeze (pictured), whom police were searching for when they came across her remains earlier this week.
Her family has been notified, police said.
The Cuyahoga County medical examiner said Tuesday that the Black girl, who was last seen in the 3400 Block of East 149th Street on Thursday as she was getting off the RTA bus headed for school, was identified through dental records.
The teen, a special needs kid, never arrived at school, and her family subsequently filed a missing person's report.
Police do not have any suspects in the case and the county prosecutor's office and crime stoppers are offering a $22,500 reward for information. (Editor's note: Since this article was published police have arrested a suspect, 44-year-old Christopher Whitaker of South Euclid, Ohio, a sex offender who was charged with aggravated murder, among other crimes, and arraigned Saturday on a $3 million bond).
Alianna is the fifth female found dead since 2012 on the east side near East 93rd and Kinsman Avenue, some four women ranging in ages from 20 to 43-year-old, three Black and one White, whose remains were discovered in various places, at least one in abandoned home, within a two-mile radius beginning at East 93rd Street and Bessemer Avenue and transcending to Harvard Avenue.
Ward 2 Councilman Zack Reed, responding to the murder of Defreeze in his largely Black and impoverished ward, has joined community activists, including the Imperial Women Coalition, which holds annual rallies relative to the murders, in calling for the violence against women to stop, and making an assumption that another serial killer is likely on the loose. (Editor's note: Serial killer Anthony Sowell murdered 11 Black women and raped three others at his since demolished home on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland and sits on death row as his 2011 convictions are on appeal, and East Cleveland serial killer Michael Madison, who murdered three Black women in neighboring East Cleveland, is also appealing his 2016 death sentence and convictions for murder and a host of other crimes)
Police have no leads relative to the murders of the four East 93rd Street women, namely Jasmine Trotter, 20, Ashley Leszyeski, 21 and White, Jamella Hasan, 37, and Christine Malone 43, who left behind eight grown children.
Imperial Women Coalition leader Kathy Wray Coleman said the murders of women and children in the city are escalating and that it is a community issue that must be addressed.
"This has got to stop," said Coleman, who raised the issue of violence against women and the unprecedented murders in particular of Black women in Cleveland as one of 10 speakers on Public Square on Jan 21 at the women's march in Cleveland, a sister march to the national gathering in Washington D.C.
Coleman said that the mainstream media ignored her call for something to be done about the epidemic as to her women's march speech and instead focused primarily on White women, abortion, and immigrants.
"Black women and children who are poor and murdered unmercifully do not get the attention that affluent White women get from the mainstream media, police, or otherwise," said Coleman, also a former 14-year Cleveland schools high school biology teacher. "It's racism, coupled with sexism and socioeconomic bias."