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Slain girl's father, sister denied visas, miss her funeral


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KEANSBURG, N.J. (AP) — A Jamaican man who was denied a temporary visa to attend the funeral of his slain 11-year-old daughter in New Jersey says his heart is "torn apart."

Kenroy Smith, talking to WCBS-TV from Jamaica, echoed the sentiments expressed at Monday's service for AbbieGail Smith, who was remembered as Princess Abbie.

"She was my everything," Smith said. "She was my princess. She was my angel."

Smith and AbbieGail's sister, Kennish Smith, were unable to attend the funeral in Keansburg despite pleading with President Donald Trump.

Kenroy Smith was deported after a marijuana arrest in 2001. AbbieGail's sister said she wasn't told why her application was rejected.

The Department of State said it's prohibited from disclosing details about visa cases.

AbbieGail's body was found July 13 in a blanket near her apartment building. Authorities say she was stabbed by an 18-year-old neighbor, who's charged with murder.

Police have not released a motive for the killing. The neighbor is scheduled to appear in court this week.

As AbbieGail's family wept and shared stories of her life, her aunt Sonja Bennett hoped for answers.

"We want to hold your hand and see your face, but you were taken from us and we don't know why," she said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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