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Girl Sexually Assaulted, Murdered

Since 5:30 p.m. Friday, authorities had been searching for Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old girl who was last seen at the River Ridge apartment complex off Reinhardt College Parkway.

Editor's note: Due to erroneous information from the , previous versions of this story misspelled the name of Jorelys Rivera.

Update 10:15 p.m. Tuesday

There will be just one vigil for , and it will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at .

Originally, there were two vigils planned, one on Wednesday at Heritage Park and another on Friday in front of the River Ridge apartment complex.

"Out of respect for the complex and as a request of the 's ongoing investigation, we moved it to Heritage Park," organizer Tina Ryan said. "The two vigils have been combined for Friday night."

For footage from today's press conference announcing the results of an autopsy, click .

Update 11:18 p.m. Monday

Another vigil planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at is still a go, but organizers have pushed it back one hour.

Instead of 6 p.m., the ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Click here for details.

The other vigil will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in front of the River Ridge apartment complex, according to another announcement circulating on Facebook. For more information on that one, go to http://www.facebook.com/events/146347572134229/.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 8:56 p.m. Monday

A candlelight vigil for Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old Canton girl whose body was found in a Dumpster this afternoon, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in front of the River Ridge apartment complex, according to an announcement circulating on Facebook. For more information, go to http://www.facebook.com/events/146347572134229/.

It's not clear if another vigil planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at is still a go. Originally on the Facebook page, the announcement has been taken down.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 7:15 p.m. Monday

A few updates:

  • Georgia State Patrol is stopping every car that enters or exits the River Ridge apartment complex.
  • On Facebook, people are being asked to turn and keep on their porch lights in memory of Jorelys Rivera from 8 p.m. tonight until 7 a.m. Tuesday.
  • An autopsy will be conducted at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab tonight. Tuesday, authorities will hold a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the , said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the .

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 2:23 p.m. Monday

An attempt to reach principal Gwen Lince wasn't successful today, but spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby has issued this statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely death of first-grade student, Jorelys Rivera. Additional counselors and other support staff are being provided at Canton ES to assist students and staff. The Cherokee County School District continues to cooperate with local and state law enforcement agencies relative to the ongoing investigation. The School District does not and will not comment on ongoing police investigations; accordingly, all questions in this regard should be directed to the Canton Police Department."

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 2:10 p.m. Monday

Jorelys Rivera, the missing 7-year-old Canton girl, was found two hours ago in a Dumpster at the River Ridge apartment complex, Georgia Bureau of Investigation director Vernon Keenan told Canton-Sixes Patch.

Authorities have moved the Dumpster to an area of brush and scrub on Reinhardt College Parkway. Investigators are processing the scene.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 10:45 a.m. Monday

The search for Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old Canton girl who may have been abducted Friday evening, has expanded, Lt. Jeff Hall said during a press conference this morning.

Joining the and the are the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other state resources.

"They're here for support," Hall said. "They'll give you ideas. Anybody that can give us ideas, we're listening to them. The feds and the GBI are great resources. They are trained in this type of investigation. The more minds we put in something, the better off we'll be."

Since 5:30 p.m. Friday, officers have searched for Rivera, who was wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans and black boots. Friday. A Hispanic female, she stands 3 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.

A teenage babysitter was supposed to be watching the girl at the River Ridge apartment complex, but Hall said today that the babysitter "went to another location for a period of time."

Saturday, authorities changed the focus of the investigation from a missing person and search operation to a possible child abduction case.

Police spokeswoman Candy Worthy said probation officers and deputies have spoken with local sex offenders in the area.

At today's press conference, Hall said authorities were "looking at everybody" as suspects.

"Nobody's being ruled out right now," he said. "Nobody's ruled in. We have no viable suspects at this time."

When asked if authorities were frustrated as the search inches closer to the 72-hour mark, Hall said, "If you get frustrated, you start giving up hope. We're not frustrated. We don't want to lose focus. Finding the little girl is our mission. That's why everybody's here. That's why everybody's ready to stay as long as it takes."

Also, officials announced a $5,000 reward for the "safe return" of Rivera. Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the , said that amount may rise. 

Individuals who would like to donate to the "Bring Jorleys Rivera Home Reward Fund" may stop by any located in Canton, Holly Springs or Woodstock. All donations are tax deductible. They can also be mailed to the Bring Jorleys Rivera Home Fund, c/o Cherokee Sheriff's Foundation, P.O. Box 4250, Canton, GA 30114. Checks should be made payable to the Cherokee Sheriff's Foundation.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 10:04 a.m. Monday

A press conference is scheduled for 10:45 a.m., said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the .

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 9:10 p.m. Sunday

Teams are scaling back the search for the evening, Lt. Jeff Hall said. It will resume at 7 a.m. Monday.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 2:39 p.m. Sunday

A candlelight prayer service for Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old girl who may have been abducted Friday evening, has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at , according to a post on the 's Facebook page.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 11:21 a.m. Sunday

A tip line has been established to aid investigators in the search of Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old girl who may have been abducted Friday evening.

The number is 770-345-4189.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 9:38 a.m. Sunday

The siblings of Jorelys Rivera, the 7-year-old girl who may have been abducted Friday evening, are in the custody of the , spokeswoman Candy Worthy said this morning.

"The children were taken because of lack of supervision," she said. "Obviously, Jorelys disappeared because she was not being watched properly. So the younger two children were taken and placed with DFACS."

Worthy said the move was "normal and procedural," and that authorities "don't think" Rivera's mother had anything to do with her disappearance "at this point. We just think that she was not supervising well enough to keep all of the children safe."

Since 5:30 p.m. Friday, officers have searched for Rivera, who was wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans and black boots. Friday. A Hispanic female, she stands 3 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.

Saturday, officers said they were changing the focus of the investigation from a missing person and search operation to a possible child abduction case.

Overnight, "there has been talk that leads came in," Worthy said. "We will be checking into those leads."

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 3:18 p.m. Saturday

The search for 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera, who was last seen around 5 p.m. Friday at the River Ridge apartment complex, has been upgraded from a missing person and search operation to a possible child abduction case, spokeswoman Candy Worthy said this afternoon.

"We have been slowly pushing in that direction during the day today," she said. "We have searched most of the perimeters that were established this morning and our search grids should be complete by night fall. At this time, we are treating the case as a child abduction for the safety of the child. We have probation officers and deputies speaking with the local sex offenders in the area to rule all of them out. We are also working with the school system and the family to learn more about the child's friends."

Officers have been searching for Rivera, who was wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans and black boots, since 5:30 p.m. Friday. She stands 3 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.

Worthy said volunteers are not needed at this time.

"We have a large amount of people in the area and have exhausted all of the searching perimeter areas," she said.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Update 7:52 a.m. Saturday

Seven-year-old Jorelys Rivera, who was last seen around 5 p.m. Friday at the River Ridge apartment complex off Reinhardt College Parkway, has not been located, spokeswoman Candy Worthy said this morning.

"We are confirming that the child is still missing at this time," she wrote in an emailed briefing to metro Atlanta media outlets. "We are continuing our search again this morning. We don't really have much of an update except that we are still searching for the missing child."

Officers have been searching for Rivera, who was wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans and black boots, since 5:30 p.m. Friday. She stands 3 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Original Report Below 11:29 p.m. Friday

are searching for a missing child.

Jorelys Rivera, 7, of Canton was last seen around 5 p.m. at the River Ridge apartment complex off Reinhardt College Parkway, police spokeswoman Candy Worthy said. She was wearing a pink shirt, blue jeans and black boots.

Rivera stands 3 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds.

"We currently have officers going door-to-door," Worthy said.

Stay tuned to canton-ga.patch.com for updates.

Bobbie December 06, 2011 at 12:44 AM
These children are babies. She was the oldest and only 7 years old. For goodness sake people PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL THE POLICE. An apartment manager can send a letter to the resident. A police officer can do an awful lot more. We need to be proactive in protecting children. Please, if you see something that isn't right, do something about it! It starts with one person. Start now.
Rodney Thrash December 06, 2011 at 12:47 AM
You are not alone, Malika. Thanks for your compassion during this time.
Rodney Thrash December 06, 2011 at 12:49 AM
You're welcome, Leslie! I've covered some pretty gruesome things over the course of my career. Still, this is just crushing.
Rodney Thrash December 06, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Canton-Sixes Patch readers: I know that emotions are high today. Whether or not we knew Jorelys, we've lost a member of our community. From what folks have said about this little girl, she would not want people to engage in attacks and vulgarities. Thank you so much for understanding.
Ashley B. December 06, 2011 at 01:18 AM
I am praying for this lil angel and her famiy. I hope her absuctor is cought and punished to thw greatest degree. I was born and raises in and this really stricks a nerve that some one could be so sick. Cherokee county sheriff,gbi,and every one else that has and that are still helping with this investgation I want to say thank you for not giving up in tje search
Michelle December 06, 2011 at 02:13 AM
From what I've read, this family has a history with defacs. This child was failed by many people. When I complained to management, they sent a notice out to all residents & personally spoke to individual ones about their children. Our after hours security officer was also called out several times. Everyone wants to say the neighbors should have done more. My mom (Janet Casselle Terrasi - from above) called defacs on a different tenant for what she believed to be neglect & possible abuse. Guess what...her phone call to them that was supposed to be confidential, WASN'T! Doing the right thing caused my mom, myself, my family a lot of problems. I have a child myself. Her safety comes first & foremost. I have to think about her before I go putting myself in someone elses business. This mother did have late night parties with people in & out of her apt. She also partied with a few other residents in here. If I would've known what I know now... What my neighbor has told both myself & my mother, I would have called defacs. But like I said, my child & my family's safety comes first.
Bobbie December 06, 2011 at 02:38 AM
I certainly understand what you are saying. Yes, we must protect our family first. Unfortunately our system (DEFACS, etc.) is understaffed and overwhelmed. All I am saying is if we stick together as a community and look out for one another, get involved in a positive way, we can hopefully avoid this ever happening to another child.
Michelle December 06, 2011 at 03:37 AM
From what I just heard the mother is now facing charges. Could just be hearsay. We have so many unsupervised children around here. My mom is retired & lives with me. She doesn't hesitate to question these children about who's watching them & where their parents are. On many occasions she has sent children home. On several occasions she told Jorely to take her sister inside, that they shouldn't be outside alone. I've often been the one stopping her from getting more involved. I fear for my daughter's safety. My heart breaks for what that little girl went through. I hope they find the sicko.
Janet Casselle Terrasi December 06, 2011 at 03:53 AM
@Julia....I will not get into any kind of verbal conflict with you. You don't know what we have done to help this family. I was a single mom of 5 and worked and raised my children. I am 65 now retired now except my mouth runs when I see wrong doings especially to children. You have no right to sit in judgement of me of what you think I should have done. I will not console Jorely's mom and then talk crap. I pray and mourn for one...Jorely Rivera....an innocent fallen Angel. So many failed her. I hope her mom finds peace. RIP Jorely, you are home now and God will be with you.
Janet Casselle Terrasi December 06, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Thank you Michelle for this post. You know I am not one to sit back and watch things. If people don't speak out they are just as guilty as the person doing the abuse. We ALL have to get involved qhen it comes to children. Just wondering why her family didn't help Ms. Rivera with her needs for her children. Where were they? RIP Jorely...so innocent and gone to soon.
Sue Ann December 07, 2011 at 12:01 AM
You can't imagine how sad I am to get online to read all the terrible comments about this mother. I am sure till the day she dies she will blame herself and mourn her child. Nothing like seeing her mistakes, her behavior thrown up online for all to discuss. Thank goodness the rest of the world is perfect. Sometimes bad things happen to good people too. There but for the Grace of God go I, is all I can say. I am a parent, I am imperfect, I am blessed by God that my daughter was not taken. I will pray that the world will blame the monster who did this, find love for a mourning mother, and spend their time better than gossiping on a website so they can be "part" of the story.
Pam J December 07, 2011 at 02:39 AM
I have read in several places that the mother does have a job. This was just a fluke that this happened. Apparently her children were not the only ones out playing. I probably would have felt okay letting a 7-year-old walk back to the apartment to get some drinks. It just had the worst outcome imaginable. I have a couple of problems here - why didn't they check that dumpster first thing? What if it had been emptied before they decided to check it? That little girl would never have been found. And how did the "monster" get her into a vacant apartment? I assume the door was locked. Are they checking the maintenance workers? The office people? You would assume that they would, but since they waited a few days to check the dumpster, you never know. It's just heartbreaking what happened to little Jorelys.
Rodney Thrash December 07, 2011 at 03:09 AM
Pam: A lot of answers were provided in today's press conference. We have video available here: http://patch.com/A-pnNP. In short, the GBI said Jorelys likely died 1 to 1.5 hours of her disappearance from the playground. Officials believe her killer lives in or was familiar with River Ridge. The vacant apartment was unlocked.
Pam J December 07, 2011 at 04:36 AM
Hi Rodney, I saw the press conference. I also saw where they did have a cadaver dog check the dumpster, but apparently the monster had not put her in there yet. It's just hard to believe that nobody saw or heard anything. Hopefully they'll find some DNA on her or in the apartment. This person needs to be put away or put down.
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:17 PM
This is all horrible. Authorties must be called when concerning a child and their safety. There is NO EXCUSE for those of you who did not call! Now there is a 7 year old tortured, sexually assulted. Do you wonder what that hour was like for her when you could have helped to prevent it? SHAME ON ALL OF YOU, FOR YOR ARE JUST AS GUILTY!
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Thank You....shame on all who did not for they are guilty!
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Well why did you not report it?
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Whatever,Jorely is dead and you could have made a difference.
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Well janet you are apart of the truth that did nothing.....Jorely is dead and maybe if you had done something she wouldn't be....that is on you..gossip Queen!
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:30 PM
Janet....blah blah blah, dont make this about you! You are responsible for failing to report what you saw......the child is dead, tortured and sexually assulted. LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND OWN NO INVOLVEMENT OTHER THAN SPREADING GOSSIP!
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Janet, the more I read the more you repulse me. I could careless if you had 10 kids.,..you did nothing to protect this beautiful girl...shame on you< you get to live with her death and your lack of involvement. Parent of 5, no award for you! You are a disgrace, you do not deserve the title or honor of being a parent. Enjoy looking in the mirror for you almost as guilty as the guy who did this...INEXCUSABLE
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:35 PM
They did an awesome job as all deparetments involved. People like you are example of what is wrong today. What are you credentials to judge the local Police?
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:36 PM
thank you! I so agree, shame on all of them.
Christy December 11, 2011 at 09:41 PM
YOUR SAD! You now can live with your poor decisions. So now you look in the mirror each day and know you could have prevented a 7 year old from torture, rape, and murder! Do you wonder what that hour was like for her? You don't compromise a child for yourself...You stand up and make a difference
Pam J December 11, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Sue Ann, you are right. The sad thing is that we now have to live as though there are bad people all around us. Geez, when I was in elementary school in Smyrna, we had to walk the mile to school. No bus for any kid who lived that "close". But now it seems that you can't even let your child go outside and play for fear that someone will snatch them up. I don't know this mother, but what her 7-year-old daughter did was not unusual. It just had the most horrible outcome. Like you said, bad things happen to good people. I think people are losing sight of that fact. Normal activity, bad outcome.
Christy December 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM
AMEN
Christy December 11, 2011 at 10:13 PM
i am so disturbered by the lack of community involvement which would have prevented this horror! Those of you who could have and should have stepped up now can live with this beautoful 7 year olds death. This is what is wrong with our society. Today's society is selfish and no one wants to be involved....well i say look in the mirror and ask God for forgiveness for you could have prevented this murder! Pay it Forward and help make change. KARMA it will get you.
Sue Ann December 12, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Christy, I will pray for you. Remeber the words of our Father and Savior: "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." No human is perfect, no human is without sin, and no human has the right to judge others as you are doing now. I pray you never have to look in the face of our Savior let alone a mirror, with the attitude you have.
Pam J December 12, 2011 at 01:49 AM
Sue Ann, thanks for trying to "diffuse" Christy's somewhat explosive period. I'm getting e-mail after e-mail because I commented and she is driving me somewhat crazy! She is blaming everybody except the one person she needs to blame. The monster that killed that poor little girl.
Rodney Thrash December 12, 2011 at 03:52 PM
The comment section is now closed, Ashley!

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