Hundreds gather for Danielle Locklear funeral service


Through the speakers, Michael Jackson's Earth Song blared. Locklear adored Michael Jackson, and throughout her funeral service, loved ones and community members talked about how much the Hope Mills girl was adored by those around her.

"She wanted to touch you with her infectious smile," said Gary Stemple, an assistant principal at Southview High School where Locklear was a freshman. "She wanted others to know beyond any doubt, that she had love in her heart."

"Those of us who knew Danielle knew she was simply an angel," said Dr. Linda Baldwin, a pastor in Garland, North Carolina.

About 350 people filled Fayetteville's Manna Church Saturday afternoon to bid farewell to Locklear, who went missing on March 11.

Several weeks later, the teen's body was recovered from the South River in Sampson County. Her ex-boyfriend, 17-year-old Je'Michael Malloy, would later admit to choking her to death, and having a Cape Fear High School classmate help discard her body. Malloy and Dominic Lock, 18, now face second-degree murder charges in Locklear's death.

"When we first heard the fact that Danielle was missing, we sent a prayer alert to our members and asked them to pray and literally thousands of members in our local church prayed with you for her," said Michael Fletcher, the senior pastor of Manna Church. "And then our hearts were broken when we learned of her demise."

During the service Locklear's youth pastor, Apostle James Simmons,  told the audience that Locklear's home church would soon address domestic violence through weekly seminars.

"(I) talked to Rowna about, starting in the future, a special program in remembrance of her for domestic violence, violence especially for  teenagers... because it's needed now."

"She has touched thousands with her death and it will not be in vain," continued Chena Simmons, Locklear's great-aunt. "We will continue her fight."

In Locklear's obituary, the teen's involvement in Youth for Christ camp in Autryville, as well as her love for nature is highlighted. It noted the girl was preparing for her high school pageant, and  loved Food and Nutrition class. Stemple said she was solid academically, and encouraging to her classmates.

Locklear's white casket, adorned with colorful flowers, was carried out of the church by six men in her family. A private burial was held in Autryville, near Locklear's Upper Room Prayer House Church.

"There's only one person not sad here today," said Fletcher. "It's her. She's in the presence of God."

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