A murdered teen was finally laid to rest on Saturday. Cori Baker disappeared in November. After months of searching for the 13-year-old, the teen's remains were found near a Creek County paintball park at the end of March.
The News On 6's reporter Jeffrey Smith reports the Baker family refused to call Saturday's ceremony a funeral; instead, they called it a Celebration of Life.
More than 300 people showed up to the Green Country Event Center to honor Cori's life. For her dad, it was the final bit of closure in what has been the hardest six months of his life.
There was music, words of prayer, but mostly there were tears. Tears from friends, tears from family, from classmates and even strangers.
More than 300 mourners showed up to remember the life of Cori Baker.
Everyone held a card, showing the smiling face of a young woman taken too soon.
For Daniel Baker, it's the end of a nightmare year.
His 13-year-old daughter didn't come home from school one day last November. Police knew she had gotten a ride home from 18-year-old Marquis Bullock, her sister's boyfriend.
Hundreds of police officers, volunteers, search and rescue workers, and cadaver dogs helped out.
They came from across the country, searching Green Country for clues.
At the end of March, her remains were found at a paintball park in Creek County.
Bullock has since been charged with first degree murder. Police say he murdered Cori and dumped her body.
Saturday's service was all about love. As home movies and photographs played on overhead monitors, muffled sounds of sniffling mixed with laughter could heard.
As Cori's father prepares to open a new chapter, the memory of his daughter will always be in his heart.
Daniel Baker says he's found some closure. Until Cori's remains were discovered, he had always held out hope and only now is he starting to feel full extent of the loss.
He says it's an impossible feeling to describe; the death of a child is every parent's worst nightmare.