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'God So Loved Dora:' Mourners Pack Libertyville Church to Remember Slain Mundelein Girl

The girl's half-sister, 14, is to appear in court Friday for an arraignment, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald video
Source: Sydney Morning Herald video
Mourners packed St. John Lutheran Church in Libertyville Wednesday to remember 11-year-old Dora Betancourt who authorities say was killed last week after her 14-year-old half-sister stabbed her multiple times, according to the Daily Herald. 

In a eulogy by Rev. Kevin Raddatz, the pastor recalls the many things that would stick out to those closest to Dora as they mourned her death, according to media reports and the eulogy. The eulogy, which is titled "God So Loved Dora," is posted in full on the church's website.

"Her smile, her joy with art, her drawing, her rubberband, her clay creations. Our teachers mentioned her caring heart, how she wanted to share what she had made," Raddatz said. "When we had our Talent Show, I think she was one of the first to sign up — she had a cheer she wanted to show us." 

Raddatz went onto say Dora, a fifth-grade student at St. John Lutheran School, had a particular bible passage that stuck with her. 

"At school we memorize certain passages so they stick with us for when we need them. We call them Memory Treasures," Raddatz said. "For some children they stick quick; for some of us they take more work."

For Dora, he said, it was John 3:16 that stuck as her "Memory Treasure." The bible passage reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

"That promise stuck with Dora. Today Dora is with Jesus. She is in heaven, surrounded by the perfect love of God," Raddatz said. "Today we are sad, but Dora isn’t; she’s in heaven where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain."

The sermon also stressed that "God's love is for everyone," including Dora's 14-year-old half-sister who is charged in her murder and is currently being held at a juvenile detention center, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

The Chicago Tribune reports that mourners "described the relationship between the sisters as close and loving."

The turnout to the funeral was so large the service had to be simulcast to a TV in the church's basement so attendees could watch from there as well, according to the Daily Herald. One funeral attendee described the funeral to the Daily Herald as "sad but beautiful.

Dora's half-sister is accused of stabbing Dora over 30 times following an argument in their town home on Woodhaven Court in Mundelein the morning of Jan. 21, according to an earlier Daily Herald article. 

Police said the argument stemmed from the older sibling believing Betancourt did not appreciate all she did for her, according to CNN.

The 14-year-old half-sister is expected to appear in Lake County juvenile court on Friday for an arraignment hearing, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

Following Dora's death, a group of Mundelein moms came together to help raise money for funeral costs. So far, nearly $20,000 has been raised, according to the 'Mundelein Moms' GoFundMe webpage.

The group hopes to raise $50,000 to cover funeral costs with any additional funds going to support Dora's mother "and offset any other expenses." Donations can be made on the GoFundMe webpage. 

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