Vigil held for 3 found murdered in apartment fire

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Sherea Harris

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Three family members will be buried on Saturday after Birmingham Police say they were murdered.

Their bodies were pulled from a burning apartment at Manor Apartments in east Birmingham.
Wednesday night, there was a tearful gathering for the people who love them.

People gathered in front of the apartment where 59-year-old Bernice Kelly, her 34-year-old son, Quortes Kelly, and her niece, 12-year-old Aaliyah Budgess were killed.

Tyra Dunlap has known Aaliyah since the second grade. The two were like sisters.

"She died on my birthday," said a tearful Dunlap. "My friend didn't get a chance to tell me happy birthday."

Dunlap says all she can do is cry. She's trying to understand why something like this could happen to her young friend.
Dunlap said, "She did not even mess with nobody and he took her. But I know she's in a better place. I love you Aaliyah."

Betty Cole is Kelly's sister. Cole couldn't speak about the investigation. She says the ordeal has been a traumatic experience.
Cole says, "It's just been unbearable. And the reason why we are here talking right now is we want people to understand how important it is to love your family, be there for your family. (We are) asking for everybody's prayers."

Police had and 18-year-old family member into custody last week, but no one has been charged

Their funeral is Saturday, November 6th at 11am at New Rising Baptist Church is Birmingham.

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