PHOENIX - It was an emotional gathering in the West Valley when the community came together to remember a little girl whose remains were found in an attic last month.
"We're here to bring awareness for my daughter Charisma who was found in the attic for so many years laying up there," said Priscilla Marquez, the girl's mother. "It was like a nightmare, something you don't ever want to hear is that your child's remains were found."
Rafael and Maribel Loera, the girl's adoptive parents, were arrested after being accused of child abuse, arson and concealing a dead body.
Rafael Loera (left) and Maribel Loera (right)
Court paperwork shows the girl became ill in 2017 and died on the way to the hospital. Rafael Loera told police that he took the girl home, wrapped her body up in a sheet and put her in the attic, saying he feared they'd lose the other children they had adopted if they told police.
The Department of Child Safety removed the remaining kids out of the home after the discovery of the remains.
"They didn't ask to be adopted so they could be abused," said Marquez. "The question I ask is why, why my children, what did they do."
Marquez is upset with DCS over what happened to the girl.
Sunday, mourners wearing shirts with Charisma's photo set up a shrine to honor her memory.
"There are no words that can explain the feeling, the pain, my whole world stopped," said Marquez.
Marquez hoped the vigil would help stop similar tragedies.
"If it's happening to other children right now I want to put a stop to it," said Marquez.