jorelys.jpgThis has taken me a couple of days to write this article. I write about a lot of children but for some reason this one really got to me and I find it hard to write about. Another child’s life stolen from her. It is just so sad.

7 year old Jorelys Rivera of Canton Georgia was playing at the playground by the River Ridge apartment complex where she lived while supposedly being watched by a babysitter. She decided to go back to her apartment to get something to drink for her and her friends but she never returned to the playground. She just disappeared. This was on December 2, 2011 at around 5 p.m.

After a few days of searching for the little girl, on December 5, the body of this child was found in a trash compactor operated only by the maintenance staff of the apartment complex. This poor precious child had injuries so severe that authorities wouldn’t even describe them at first. They said she had been beaten and stabbed and she had been sexually assaulted.

The investigation resulted in authorities finding out that Jorelys had been taken into one of the vacant apartment in the building where she was killed. They said her mouth was taped using duct tape and her hands and feet were tied with plastic ties and that her little body had been compacted by the mechanical dumpster.

ryan-brunn.jpgRyan Brunn, 20 years old, from Dahlonega, was arrested in Cherokee County charged with homicide and making false statements.

He worked at the apartment complex doing maintenance work and even bragged about it on his Facebook that he was able to live there free since he worked there. The strange part of this is that Brunn had actually participated in the search for Jorelys by passing out fliers with her picture on it according to other residents in the area.

One of the neighbors, Linda Hale, who lives next door to the Rivera’s said after the child was found she called the police with information about Brunn twice. She said that in the recent weeks she has spotted him driving around the playground slowly as he watched the children playing. She said it creeped her out.

Another resident, David Lott, told police while speaking about Brunn, “He was talking about how the police should be checking garages and checking cars.” He also said, “He didn’t seem like anything was wrong. He was calm and collected.”

Karla Reister said she encountered Brunn, Saturday. She said, “I told him it’s sad this little girl is missing. He said, ‘this neighborhood is bad and it’s getting worse.”

This guy is so young. What in the world could a 7 year old little girl have done to him to make him do such a horrific thing to her and then kill her? I have thought about this for a few days now and I just can’t seem accept it. He has thrown away his whole life now by doing what he has done. I just would like to know if he thinks it was worth it.

Jorelys mother, Joselin Rivera had to ask on her way to the funeral home, “Why, why. She was so innocent. Why did he take her like this?”

My heart just goes out to this child’s family. They have to live with what happened to this child. They are the ones now that will be scarred for life knowing what happened to Jorelys. That sweet little girl must have been scared to death. I can’t even imagine the fear she was going through before she died. Preliminary autopsy reports show that she died of blunt force trauma to her head and the police believe that she was dead before being put into the compactor.

Jorelys mother’s employer, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has set up a Jorelys Rivera Memorial Fund to assist the family. Anyone that wishes to donate to the fund can be contact the United Community Bank in Canton at 770-479-6700.

Brunn’s family all seem to think he is innocent. His attorney, Daran Burns says his client is “very shaken.” The police feel differently though. “We are confident that Brunn is the killer,” GBI Director Vernon Keenan said. He also believes there will be additional charges from the DA’s office on Brunn too.

I pray that if Brunn is the killer that they find him guilty and that he pays with his life or at least that he is put behind bars for the rest of his life with hard labor and no benefit of parole. Anyone that can do something like this to an innocent child doesn’t deserve to ever be free again.

My thoughts and prayers are with Jorelys Rivera’s family now. I know Jorelys is sitting with God now watching down and she is no longer in any pain for God won’t let anything else happen to her now. God bless her little heart.

Jan Barrett

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