At the memorial service for Kayleah Wilson, her mother, April Wilson, thanked neighbors who helped search for the girl after she disappeared on March 28 as she walked to a friend's birthday party.
Wilson's body was found last Wednesday in a Greeley irrigation ditch about a half-mile from her house. Police have said her death was not accidental, but no one has been charged.
At the memorial service, April Wilson fought tears and said Kayleah "will be missed and loved."
"It's sad that it takes a tragedy like this to show people what I already knew, that she was an amazing girl," April Wilson said.
Others remembered that Kayleah loved Celtic music and wanted to be a veterinarian. Pastor Arron Chambers said Kayleah liked to draw.
"I'm very sad and my heart is all broken and I didn't want it to happen," Tyra Palmer, Kayleah's friend, said.
"I have a hard time believing that anyone can do anything like that to a child. I just can't comprehend. So yeah, there's anger, but it's towards the perpetrator who did this," Janice Jesser, another family friend, said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Weld County judge waived a motion to reduce bail for the 18-year-old man accused for allegedly having sex with Kayleah.
Robert Laurencio Montoya faces felony charges including sexual assault for allegedly having an ongoing sexual relationship with Kayleah. He remains in custody on $100,000 bail.
The shaggy-haired Montoya appeared in court for the brief two-minute appearance, clad in an orange jail-issued jumpsuit. No family members appeared to be present at the hearing.
Police say Montoya is not a suspect in the disappearance and death of Kayleah.
In a statement, April Wilson said last week that she had stopped the relationship in February when she learned about it.
Court documents indicate the two had a sexual relationship as far back as October.
Montoya's lawyer, a public defender, did not comment following the hearing. The judge scheduled Montoya's next court appearance for June 15.
Greeley Police are still looking for additional tips related to Kayleah's homicide investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call 970-350-9600. There is a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation with The Associated Press)