Image: Bennett's funeral
Toby Talbot  /  AP
Denise Jacques, left, wife of Michael Jacques who is accused of kidnapping 12-year-old Brooke Bennett, supports her daughter, Courtney Jacques, center, as Pastor Tom Hardy assists during a funeral service, Wednesday, July 9, 2008 in Randolph, Vt., for Bennett, of Braintree, a 12-year-old girl who disappeared last month and was later found dead. Nearly 1,000 people turned out to say goodbye to Bennett.
updated 7/9/2008 9:40:16 PM ET 2008-07-10T01:40:16

Nearly 1,000 people gathered Wednesday to say goodbye to a slain 12-year-old girl, with her grieving sister recalling "someone precious" and the crowd echoing a pastor's plea: "Never, never again."

Pastor Thomas Harty of United Church of Bethel had mourners repeat those three words after him as he led the service for Brooke Bennett, who disappeared June 25 and was found dead a week later, buried in a shallow grave.

Her uncle has been charged with kidnapping her.

The service was held under a tent behind Randolph Union High School, where Brooke attended seventh grade.

"We come here to pour out our grief and face our anger," Harty told the mourners, some of whom wore buttons with Brooke's photo.

Standing above Brooke's casket, her sister Savanna Andress read a prayer, asking God for help. "For we have lost someone precious," said Savanna. "Give us hope .... Tell us life will still go on."

The girl's disappearance, which triggered the state's first Amber Alert, ended with the discovery of her body July 2. Michael Jacques, 42, is accused of orchestrating her abduction with plans to initiate her into a child sex ring.

Brooke's young cousin, Courtney Jacques, who is Michael Jacques' daughter, told mourners that Brooke liked to travel, hang out with her cousins and play basketball and lacrosse.

"She was such a good person," said Courtney, who was led to the front of the tent by her mother, Denise Jacques.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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