Monday evening a mural will be unveiled in Downtown Bakersfield to honor the life of a 13-year-old girl who was killed in July. 23ABC's Alex Bell has details on the unveiling ceremony taking place and the message organizers say they want the community members to reflect on.
The murder of Patricia Alatoree shook the community but organizers said the event was all about honoring the life of who they now call Bakersfield's Daughter.
Alatorre's memory will be brushed into the heart of Bakersfield. Mo Ali, who is the founder of the local nonprofit Thee Next Steps, commissioned a mural to be painted of the young girl. Ali said she wanted the family to feel support and have a place where they could remember their daughter.
Alatorre was allegedly raped and murdered by 24-year-old Armando Cruz of Inglewood who police say she communicated with on social media. Cruz has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court next Thursday.
"I thought this was a good way to bring light and love to the healing process," said Ali. "So, I thought it would be nice for them to be able to physically see their daughter and know where it came from. It was a place of love, unity, togetherness, and help them with their healing process."
On Monday evening, Thee Next Steps will unveil the mural to honor the life of Alatorre. Residents will be dressed in white to honor her memory. Ali said the event was created to be "light, happy, joyful. Not so much focusing on how we got here, just focusing on where we're going."
Community members have been encouraged to bring red roses or Alatorre's favorite flower, a sunflower. Later in the evening her favorite color, blue, will be seen flickering through the street during a candlelight vigil.
"What we are hoping for is that the community will take the meek and kind spirit that Patty was, and practice that amongst themselves. It's about giving back to the community."