ROSEMONT (CBS13) — The murder of Jessica Funk-Haslam stunned the Rosemont community, prompting many to stop going to the park where her body was found.
But news of 23-year-old Ryan Douglas Roberts’ arrest on Thursday is bringing some closure.
It was behind a dugout in March 2012 that the 13-year-old girl was found brutally murdered. After months of living in fear, a community is relieved now that the supposed killer has been caught.
Her murder was a sharp reminder for parents of the dangers that lurk nearby.
“We kind of talked about it with our older daughter, because she was aware,” said Traci Price, a mother of two. “People were talking about it at her school.”
And not only were there tough conversations with the kids, but families deciding to no longer come to the once-popular Rosemont Community Park, knowing that a killer roamed free.
“They’re scared. They’re afraid to come out,” said Joel Gorman, who lives next to the park. “They don’t know who’s creeping out here.”
The vigils and gruesome thoughts are far gone, and now the fear that once consumed this community for more than a year appears to be finally easing.
“This is a beautiful park, and good neighbors and stuff, and they needed some closure,” said Gorman.
There are no set vigils for Jessica, but Rosemont is holding large annual community celebration. This year, there will be a few more smiles.