Alianna DeFreeze was on her way to school on the morning of Jan. 26, 2017, when she ran into Christopher Whitaker outside the True Gospel Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH. Security cameras in the area showed DeFreeze, who was developmentally disabled, trying to get away from Whitaker at the church. A witness saw Whitaker grab DeFreeze as she was walking on East 93rd Avenue, but the witness did not call police because they were unsure of the relationship between Whitaker and DeFreeze, 14. Whitaker took DeFreeze to an abandoned house where he raped her. He then used various tools to stab and beat her to death. _x000D_
DeFreeze’s parents reported her missing after she didn’t return home from school by 4 p.m. Three days later, her body was discovered in the house where Whitaker had taken her. DNA evidence taken from the scene linked Whitaker to the crime and he was arrested on Feb. 2. An autopsy determined DeFreeze died from stab wounds and blunt-force trauma, both of which were numerous and severe._x000D_
Whitaker attempted to blame his cocaine use for the crime. He said he blacked out and did not recall what happened. However, on Feb. 13, 2018, he was found guilty of killing DeFreeze and sentenced to death. He is currently on death row in Ohio.