Aliza Spencer Laid to Rest; Community Still Searching for Answers

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 6:31 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Between calling hours and a vigil on Sunday and a funeral mass Monday, many in the greater Binghamton area are still coping with the loss of 12 year old Aliza Spencer.

On April 21, Spencer was shot and killed near her home on the corner of Bigelow St. and Chamberlain St. in the City of Binghamton. Mayor Jared Kraham said in an interview last week that investigators are still working around the clock as the third week since the incident passes.

“A lot of the questions remain unanswered, they’re working to find answers to those, so it’s really just continuing to ask for the public’s help to help solve this mystery” he said.

On Sunday, St. Paul’s Catholic Church hosted Spencer’s calling hours filling the aisles with flowers, pictures, and some of her academic achievements. At night, the community came together at the fateful corners to celebrate her life and call on officials for answers.

“I’m very grateful for everybody who joined us, I wish more of the community would’ve come out because at the end of the day this girl deserves justice and for that to happen it takes a community so we need to come together for that to happen,” said Leann Oliveira who was one of many to show their support at the event.

However, some are skeptical of the process, like Melanie Saeman, another vigil attendee who fears the investigation into Spencer’s death is not being publicized enough.

“We haven’t had answers, there’s nothing really being said about this it almost feels as though this is being brushed under the rug and we won’t stand for that as a community,” said Saeman.

On Monday morning, a light purple casket exited St. Paul’s Church following Spencer’s mass. In his eulogy, Aliza’s father said purple was her favorite color. In addition to what she enjoyed in life, her father brought up meaning behind her name; in Hebrew, Aliza means ‘joy’ something he said she brought a lot of to her family.

Mayor Jared Kraham said in an interview last week that investigators are still working to find a suspect, as of Monday, there are still no new updates.

“These incidents can shake a community they can cause people to really take stock of what’s important life like your family, your neighborhoods are detectives that working day and night to solve this case to bring closure and justice to the family,” said Kraham.

According to the Binghamton Police Department, the New York State Police are now assisting with the investigation.

Authorities are still asking for the public’s help regarding the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call 607-772-7080, there is still a $25,000 reward.