Aleida DePina garden dedicated - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Aleida DePina garden dedicated

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

@danaRgriffin

PAWTUCKET, RI- Pawtucket community members say 10-year-old Aleida DePina will never be forgotten.

"Especially with her stone right in front of us in memory of her; there's nothing else besides her crossing our minds at the moment right now," said volunteer, Danny Derosa.

Located next to the playground at Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School, an upgraded garden bears her name with an underlying message to not keep silent when a child is being abused.

"If you're seeing behavior that you're not comfortable with, let's talk about it. Let's see how we can get people to help. I don't know how it would have helped Aleida and her situation but I’m trying to just open the door for other kids; if they're ever going through something, to want to talk about it," said organizer, Melissa Darosa.

The DePina family was not present, but those who planted the garden stood on top of it as Tracey Cassell gave the blessing.

"For a child being so young to lose their life so quickly and in such an unfortunate manner, it's just a beautiful garden to be a part of," said Cassell.

Aleida died last July. An autopsy found bruises, cigarette burns and scars on her body. Prosecutors believe she had been abused for years.

The attorney general's office is seeking a life sentence without parole for Aleida's father, Jorge DePina. He's being held at the ACI.

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