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5-year-old Mariha Smith Laid To Rest

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(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – On the day of her funeral, Detroit Police have made an arrest in the murder of Mariha Smith.

Several hundred people attended funeral services held Friday for the 5-year-old girl, nearly two weeks after her burned body was found in an abandoned house in Detroit.

A small white and golf coffin sat at the front of the church, bordered by bouquets of brightly colored flowers, with a large photo of the child off to the side.

Following services at Triumph Church on East Grand Blvd., Kenneth Roberts, who was like a father to Mariha, spoke with WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting.

“I’ve been there since she was three months in the womb, and I’m still here,” said Roberts.

“I’m going to find him [her killer], I’m gonna find him. Then … I don’t know. God’s will … whatever happens, happens,” he said.

Mariha was buried at Detroit Memorial Park in Redford.

She disappeared in early morning hours of July 24, sleeping on the floor of her west side home in the 3800 block of Burlingame and was later reported missing. Days later, her remains were found in an abandoned house on Waverly Street in Detroit. According to the Wayne County Medical Examiners’ Office, Smith had been asphyxiated and her skull crushed before the house was set fire.

Investigators say this case has become a top priority for homicide detectives.

A reward is being offered for tips. Anyone with information is encouraged to call ATF at 1-800 ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) or Detroit Police Homicide at 1-313-596-2260. Callers can remain anonymous. For more information on ATF go to www.atf.gov.

Stay with WWJ for the latest.

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