Crime Watch 8

Funeral service for Richmond police officer Seara Burton

RICHMOND, Ind. (WISH) — Officer Seara Burton was living her best life.

She was a week and half from being married and working the job of her dreams she was shot in the head during a traffic stop Aug. 10. Burton died Sept. 18 in hospice care.

Richmond Police Officer Keifer Uphaus described himself as one of Seara’s best friends on the department. “I’m honored and proud to have had the opportunity to call you my partner and my best friend. I know that my son and fellow officers will forever have a guardian angel. Thank you for everything, I miss you and I love you baby girl,” Uphaus said at her Monday funeral at Richmond High School. 

Burton was engaged to get married. Her fiancée, Sierra Neal, said at the funeral she could hardly believe the love of her life was gone. Though they spelled their first names differently, they shared the same middle name. Had they married, they would have both been Sierra/Seara Burton.

“I remember standing in the kitchen with her at the beginning of our relationship and having a conversation with her discussing the dangers of her career and she asked me if I was willing to accept that being with an officer. I told her I would completely support her and her career, but, even in that moment, I still felt there was no way something like this could happen to such a wonderful human. Even standing here right now it still isn’t real. Behind that badge was the woman of my dreams, a woman who could be treated and talked to in awful ways for eight hours a day at work and could still come home and laugh and be so kindhearted” Neal said. 

In the days and weeks following the shooting, the acts of kindness toward Burton and her department were plentiful. But, it was a donation of $8 delivered in an old white envelope that touched the department the most.

Lt. Donnie Benedict of the Richmond Police Department said at the funeral, “They handed the envelope to the information officer and on the envelope was written these four words: ‘people from the street.’ The person explained that several of the homeless people from the city of Richmond had taken up a donation from the people that live in on our streets here in Richmond, and they wanted to donate this to Seara’s family. Inside this tattered envelope was eight $1 bills. There have been many valuable gift made in honor of Sierra; however, none, I mean none, are more valuable than the gift of eight $1 bills in a dirty white envelope.”