Tonight some closure for the family of Casey Crowder.
It's been two weeks since the teenager's car was found on the side of the road in Dumas. Her body was found days later.
Today more than 1,000 people packed a Pine Bluff church to pay their respects and remember a 17-year-old girl who left them much too early.
Gretchen Pearce, a friend, describes her emotions, "It's hard, but the last two weeks have been really hard."
David White, a family friend, says, "I don't think any of us could truly imagine how difficult that would be."
The decorated cars in the parking lot said it all. Many covered with statements like, “We love you Casey!” or “We Miss You.”
Anjunique Sampson, a friend and former teammate, says, "We all miss her very much."
Memorial services for Casey Crowder were held at First Christian Church in Pine Bluff. The 700 seats inside the church were filled. So was the adjacent gym where hundreds more could watch on television monitors. It was a true statement of the number of lives touched by the high school softball player.
Gretchen Pearce, fighting back tears, says, "It's the little things. Like when Miss Dee was talking about the plays we have been in. That's what makes it hard, knowing that when I come to church she won't be here. And on Senior Sunday, she was the other Senior. It was just the two of us. And knowing that she won't be here to share that day with me, with us, that's the hard part."
Today's funeral brings some closure to the family, but full closure won't come until Casey Crowder's killer is caught. Authorities tell us they are very close to putting her murder behind bars.
Jim Snyder, Desha County Sheriff-Elect, says, "We are getting close. We had a productive week. We have had federal, state, and local officers that have stayed with this thing with little to no sleep." He went on to say, "We do have persons of interest. We are working on that. We are dedicated to that. We are going to look at the final medical examiner's report and we hope to sit down with the prosecuting attorney later in the week to asses this thing and see just how close we are to bringing this thing to a close."
A private funeral service for Casey Crowder was held before the memorial service.