GRETNA, La. -- They say there's power in prayer. Parishioners inside the Real Baptist Church in Gretna prayed a little extra hard for 6-year-old Ahlittia North and her family.
'We continue to pray for the North family,' said Pastor Toy Hodge. 'Not only this family, but we come to pray for the community and our children.'
Toward the end of the special service, North's grandmother, Renee Johnson, and other relatives arrived, quickly overwhelmed by the energy inside the church.
Albert Hill, Ahlittia's step-father, thanked the community for the outpouring of support.
'I'm happy about everybody coming together as one big family and helping us out and everything,' Hill said. 'An angel for everyone, you know.'
It's been three days since North's family learned that she'd been stabbed to death. The 6-year-old's body was discovered wrapped in a blanket and stuffed in a trash can just seven doors from her house.
'When you look at a serious situation like this, there has to be some type of mental problem going on, there has to be some time of family problem going on,' Hodge said.
Matthew Flugence is now in custody and faces a first-degree murder charge in North's death. The 20-year-old allegedly confessed to stabbing the girl four times.
Those living not far from where the gruesome murder unfolded say this is when prayer is needed the most.
'When this child got killed I felt like my child got killed. I just cried and cried because this touches home,' said Harvey resident Jinnie Nelson.
The funeral for Ahlittia North will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church on Hwy. 1 in Donaldsonville. There has also been a memorial fund set up for her family at Capital One bank.