Hundreds mourn slain Anchorage girl

Posted: Monday, July 22, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- More than 500 mourners packed Anchorage Grace Church to remember Delaney Zutz, 13, who was found murdered last week in woods near her South Anchorage home.

The slain teen was laid to rest later Sunday in Angelus Memorial Park on Klatt Road, next to the remains of Bonnie Craig, an Anchorage university student murdered in 1994 at age 18. Craig's murder remains unsolved.

As the homicide investigation continued into Zutz's death, mourners remembered the top Hanshew Middle School student for her friendly smile, whose violent death leaves them stunned and heartbroken.

''When I found out about Delaney, I began to question God,'' said teacher Billy Veasy, who taught Delaney as a fourth- and sixth-grader. ''I said, 'Why Delaney? Why this one?' ''

After pallbearers led the coffin away, mourners gathered in the church parking lot in the sunshine.

Patty Marcum and her daughter Abbie, 12, knew Delaney since kindergarten. Marcum said Delaney's murder is a wake-up call to parents.

''There is a lot of fear that this could happen to our children,'' Marcum said.

After the funeral, mourners gathered on a grassy hill at Angelus Memorial Park. Many tossed single roses and rose petals into the ground where Delaney's casket will lie. The plot is just a few feet from that of murder victim Bonnie Craig.

The Zutz family felt it was appropriate that the girls be together, Hunn said.

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