Memorial held for Halloween murder victim

February 18, 2008 7:22:30 PM PST
The family of the Alameda girl, who was murdered on Halloween night, honored her memory today. They unveiled a memorial in the very park where she lost her life.

She would have been 16 years old today, and so, there was a ceremony to honor Ichinkorloo Bayarsaikhan -- better know as Iko.

There was traditional Mongolian folk dancing to celebrate Iko's culture, along with balloons, flowers, and a photo montage showcasing her life.

Iko was murdered during, what police say was, a robbery attempt on Halloween night in Alameda's Washington Park.

On Monday, in that very space, her parents dedicated a pair of concrete benches to their lost daughter.

"The benches will be there maybe 100 years. After we die and everybody dies, the bench is still there and everybody knows it's Iko's," says Uranchimeg Khishigdorj, victim's mother.

The plaque reads:
"Iko's young heart stopped here, but her spirit lives on. Her parents hope those who read this will pray for Iko's soul, and pray for peace."

The crowd at the dedication included her teachers, city officials, and several Alameda police officers. The family gave them gifts of appreciation for their support. Six teenagers have been arrested in the case. Three have been sentenced. Three others are awaiting trial.

"I think it's a real testament to the community that people cooperated with us and came forward and helped with the investigation so we could get the responsible people off the streets," says Walt Tibbet, Alameda Police Chief.

Some members of the small Mongolian community have been afraid to venture out since the murder. Iko's family feels this celebration will now make the park a peaceful place forever.