This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
WEST JORDAN — Friends and family gathered outside West Jordan Elementary on Friday to remember a girl who was killed by her neighbor.
Sierra Newbold was allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered three months ago by neighbor Terry Lee Black, and the West Jordan community in which she lived with her family is having a difficult time coping with her violent death. To help them heal, and remember, she was memorialized on a bench at West Jordan Elementary alongside another classmate who recently passed away.
The little memorial is right at the entrance of the school, honoring the two students they lost and loved.
Sierra's parents, Kathy and Brad Newbold, attended the memorial dedication Friday and spoke out to the media for the first time. They thanked everyone for their love and support, and said Sierra was there with them in spirit, and that she would have loved the site.
"I could see Sierra sitting on the bench with a big smile, just very happy," Kathy Newbold said. "I know she was here and was beaming because it was for her and for Daniel."
Daniel Allen was the other child memorialized. He passed away recently from brain cancer. The school placed a plaque with his name next to Sierra's bench.
Daniel's mother, Lani Allen was devastated by the little boy's death. Daniel was 5-years-old when he was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma and died after two years of battling the disease, at age 7. Allen said those two years prepared for his passing, as opposed to Sierra's sudden murder. She, at least, got to say goodbye to her son before he passed.
The bench is engraved with a quote from one of Sierra's favorite authors, Dr. Seuss. It reads: "A person is a person, no matter how small." It's perfect, the Newbolds say.
"No matter how small, people are people and she was a person," Brad Newbold said.
The maker of the bench and a father of one of Sierra's classmates, Greg Butcher, scoured the Internet looking for that quote. He donated his time and services to make the bench.
"It was really gratifying for me to do something like this," Butcher said.
And now all who visit West Jordan Elementary can honor the children taken too soon.
Next to Daniel's plaque, there is a plaque for a 10-year-old girl named Linzie Williamson, who was killed in a murder-suicide in 2008.