CLEVELAND - Telacia Fortson, of East Cleveland, was the second Imperial Avenue victim identified.
The 31-year-old mother of three went missing in June 2009. Her family said they initially filed a missing persons report during the summer with East Cleveland police.
Fortson's family went to the coroner's office Nov. 5, 2009, where her then 6-year-old son gave a DNA sample to confirm her identity. Her body was one of the first two found by a Cleveland SWAT team while serving a warrant at Anthony Sowell's house in October 2009. Found with her body was a clover-shaped silver pendant on a necklace.
Fortson had three young children that she had lost custody of, according to her adoptive mother, Inez Fortson. .She said the last time she saw her daughter was on June 3, 2009. Fortson said her daughter was incarcerated for stealing money from the father of her children.
"She showed love to everyone and she gave her best to whomever she could give it to," friend Rev. Kai Dixon said.
Fortson was remembered as a loving person and mother. Her funeral service lasted several hours and her adoptive mother was so overcome with emotion that she had to be taken to the hospital.
"This senseless tragedy and heinous act has shaken the very foundation of our community, even our nation. People are wondering what's going on," said Grace Church Rev. Ivory Jones.
There was no casket at her funeral, only photos from holidays and birthdays of "T."