Tension during Sophia Acosta's funeral service
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- There was a tense situation in the North Valley during the funeral service for a three-year-old girl from Exeter. Sophia Acosta died two weeks ago after suffering severe head injuries.
Exeter Police have named the girl's mother, Erika Smith and boyfriend, Chris Cherry as persons of interest in this case. But so far, no arrests have been made.
After the burial-which took place in nearby Winton, mourners came to a park for an outdoor reception.
Family members say Sophia's death has caused a great deal of tension, because at this point, no one has been held accountable. And that was quite evident during Tuesday's burial service.
In just three short years Sophia Acosta touched the lives of everyone who knew her.
Sophia's father, Obie Acosta said, "She was always happy. Every person she was around she would make them smile too."
On Tuesday, dozens of mourners gathered at the Winton cemetery to say good bye. Family members released white doves. And mourners sang hymns, to honor little Sophia.
The somber service was interrupted midway through. Mourners became upset when Sophia's mother showed up, alongside her pastor, who began to speak about the criminal case. Merced County Sheriff's Deputies escorted him out, as Sophia's mother Erika Smith and her side of the family, left the service.
Grandmother, Diana Coronado said, "We just want to say good bye to her peacefully, we don't want to say good bye, but we have to, and for commotion to come up like that, it's just terrible."
Family members say they are frustrated Sophia's murderer is not in custody. They say they're trying to let the justice system prevail, as they do their best to keep Sophia's memory alive.
"I'm here for my daughter," said Obie Acosta. "I don't want no drama around my kid."
Sophia's Great Aunt, Frankie Acosta said, "I'm upset, but there's no words I can say but just that Sophia we love you and one day we'll see her again."
Exeter Police tell Action News they hope to bring their case to the district attorney's over the next few days-to see if charges can be filed.
atwater, winton, exeter, homicide, local, shannon handy
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