CUMBERLAND, Ind. (WISH) - 12/12/12 isn't just a cool repetition of digits or a lucky day for the Crane family. It marks the one-year anniversary of the murders of seven-year-old Kyleigh Crane and her uncle Jeremy Crane.
A family friend and another man have been charged in their deaths. To help the family during this difficult time, the city planted a pine tree in their honor at park near the Cumberland Town Hall.
"I think this turned out well. We didn't know what we were going to do. We were dreading this day for a long time," said Kyleigh's father, Josh Crane.
The Cranes were killed over two gaming systems that were later pawned off for $40 dollars. The two men charged in the murders -- Michael Bell and Jeremy Priel -- have yet to go to trial. Bell was a close family friend.
Both men are scheduled to be back in court December 19.
That day, Jeremy was babysitting his niece. She didn't go to school because she was sick. That afternoon, Jeremy's mother, also Kyleigh's grandmother came home and made a horrible discovery.
A year later, Cathy Crane says she and her family are still hurting but moving forward with the help of the community.
Cumberland's Town Manager, Mark Reynold, says the tree is a healing tool for the entire community.
"A tree is a living growing thing. And it is something that Kyleigh and Jeremy (were) not allowed to do," Reynold said. "We wanted to plant this as a symbol of growth and renewal and something that gives us hope for the future."
Kyleigh's father said his daughter and his brother Jeremy would love the tree planted in their honor. Wednesday strangers and officers who responded to the horrific decorated the tree with angels made by Kyleigh's grandmother.
"The tree is where everyone can see it. The town will watch over it as well as Kyleigh and Jeremy," Cathy Crane said.
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