COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A 5-year-old girl brutally murdered last week was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon in Phenix City, Ala.
Kamarie Holland’s father, Corey Holland, along with her little brother remembered the little girl with the release of doves at the conclusion of the graveside service at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
“One of the things that I always noticed was whenever I saw Corey, those two kids,” said Pastor T. Brian Hill of Indiana. “The princess always had a smile on her face. She had the biggest smile you could ever imagine.”
Hill was Kamarie’s great uncle and he spoke to more than 200 family and friends who crowded into the chapel at Taylor Funeral Home in Phenix City.
But the brutal way that Kamarie died was on the surface as they gathered to say goodbye.
“I know there are some who sit here, even today, who will even try to say, ‘Why did God allow this to happen?’” Hill said. “And there will even be those who will try and blame God for what has happened.”
The procession from the funeral home to the cemetery went past the Russell County Jail. That’s where 33-year-old Jeremy Williams is behind bars, accused of killing and raping the little girl.
“Evil has entered our community,” Hill said. “Evil has affected our family. Evil comes out of the mouths and hearts of men. It comes from us. And so, what was done came out of the heart of someone who allowed the devil to use him.”
And Hill issued an ominous warning.
“I wish I could stand here and tell you that the world was going to get better. But I am here to tell you it will not,” said Hill.
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor and Russell County Chief Assistant DA Rick Chancey attended the service and were both graveside. They are the two men charged with investigating and prosecuting Williams.
Both men stopped for a few seconds when they entered the chapel and stood in front of Kamarie’s open casket.
“I was just thinking for a 5-year-old to have to go through what she just did; she didn’t deserve any of that,” Taylor said.
Taylor talked briefly with the father at the cemetery. They parted with a hug.
“I spoke to him a minute ago and assured him that anything he needed from us we are going to be here for,” the sheriff said. “Any questions about the process and the system, we are going to be here to walk him through it.”
The little girl was abducted from her mother’s Columbus home last week. The mother, Kristy Hoskins, was not at the service, but the maternal grandmother and others related to the mother were.
Williams was arrested in Phenix City the day Kamarie’s body was discovered. Investigations in Columbus and Russell County continue.