Emotional vigil honors slain Elkhart County teen

Elkhart, Ind. More than 100 people gathered Thursday night to remember an Elkhart County teen who was murdered over the weekend.

Police found 17-year-old Tiana Alter dead in the home where she lived and babysat on C.R. 1 Saturday.

The coroner says she died from “multiple sharp force injuries.”

Police arrested her boyfriend, 26-year-old Michael Shoun at the scene on unrelated charges. They later added a charge of murder to his arrest.

“I always told her I didn't like the guy she was around,” said Tiana’s friend Kayla Ellsworth. “But, Tiana's going to do what Tiana wants to do.”

The circumstances surrounding the teen’s death make it especially difficult for those who were close to her. They say Tiana would never hurt anyone and went out of her way to make others smile.

“I just want everyone to remember her for who she was because Tiana was never unhappy ever,” Tiana’s mother, Nellie Stacker, said through tears.

The vigil gave family and friends a chance to grieve, but also served as a fundraiser for Tiana's funeral.

Her family is struggling to come up with the money for her services because they lost another relative over the summer.

Donations can be made through the Walley-Mills-Zimmerman Funeral Home in Elkhart. The funeral arrangements have not been set, but visitation will be held there Saturday, from 11 to 1.

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