Tampa, Florida — Only on 10: It's been three months to the day since police say Felecia Williams was killed, her body found naked on the shores of the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
Police have charged Granville Ritchie with 9-year-old Felecia's rape and murder, but as kids are about to head back to school, we've learned how Felecia's teachers and family are dealing with the heartbreaking news.
On Tuesday, students will return in droves to Edison elementary but they'll be missing one of their own.
"Felecia was a firecracker," said her third grade teacher Roxanne Williams. "It was tough after (her death), to go each day and to just know she wasn't coming back."
It was a life cut short, police say, by 35-year-old Granville Ritchie. He made his first appearance in court on new charges of first degree premeditated murder, capital sexual battery on a victim less than 12 years of age, and aggravated child abuse Saturday.
Family members wailed Friday through gruesome details released by police.
"Evidence at the scene indicated that Felecia's body had been concealed within a suitcase and dragged from the apartment," said Temple Terrace police chief Kenneth Albano.
Felecia's cousin Rashida Johnson said her family is staying strong but, "I just can't believe he did that to her," she said. "She didn't deserve that...it's hard for all of us to deal with it, you know, but we have to take it one day at a time."
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And as her students return to Edison, Roxanne Williams, who's teaching second grade this year, says the school is paying tribute to Felecia's memory with a song in her honor.
"You just get that feeling in your heart. I can't believe it. I still can't believe it," Williams said. "We're gonna get the kids involved and just help them remember that at Edison, it's all about love, it starts in the heart and we're all in this together."
Felecia would have been going into the fourth grade had she been able to come back to Edison elementary this year. Ritchie is being held without bond.
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