SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - The Sumter community filled the Canty Memorial Church of God in Christ as 5-year-old Nevaeh Adams was laid to rest.
From the beginning, the community has come together for several vigils, and Saturday afternoon friends, family and loved ones were able to say goodbye properly.
“This is the hardest thing I had to do, and I tossed and I turned in my bed all night long. Dreading this day right here,” Elijah Nelson, Nevaeh’s grandfather said.
It was the afternoon of October 18th when the family received a knock on their door to learn the remains of 5-year-old Nevaeh Adams had been found.
That discovery came after an extensive five-week search, sifting through trash at the Richland County landfill.
“I saw a glimpse of what could be accomplished when a community comes together as one when I went to the landfill and I saw people from all walks of life and different backgrounds working together in harmony for a common goal,” Garryl Deas a family friend and attorney said. “Nevaeh’s mother Sharee Bradley, may she sleep in peace. [She] knew exactly what she was doing when she came up with her little angel’s name, Neveah, which is ‘Heaven’ spelled backward.”
It was August 5th when the body of Sharee Bradley was found in her Lantana apartment, with her daughter, Nevaeh nowhere to be found.
Daunte Johnson, the suspect, in this case, has been charged with two counts of murder.
“The past several months have been very challenging and stressful for the entire city. I wish I could do something that could turn back the heads of time and make all the unpleasant things go away,” Deacon Stanley Barrett, from Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, said.
Nevaeh’s family desperately held out hope that she was alive. The discovery of finding her remains in the landfill last month brought both heartache and closure to her family, along with the 400 volunteers who tirelessly searched for her.
The family said knowing Nevaeh was found, brings them a little closer to healing.
“We are seeing many crying nights, many crying moments. But we thank god that we’re still here,” Nelson said. “We still have our health and strength, and we hope he will save a space for us close to our loved ones.”
Third Circuit Solicitor Ernest Finney says the discovery of Adams’ remains will make prosecution of the case easier against Johnson.
He is currently being held at the Sumter-Lee Detention Center without bond.