Community pays final respects to murdered teen

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SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WATE) — A 19-year-old was stabbed to death at a Pigeon Forge diner last week and on Thursday night, the community paid their final respects.

Savannah Burford was killed outside the Sunliner Diner Jan. 8. Pigeon Forge police arrested one of her co-workers in connection to her death: 18-year-old Gabriel Turcious, who is charged with first degree murder and aggravated assault.

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel was invited to Burford’s funeral services, as family and friends came together.

Some of her family members said they’re feeling both sadness and anger, but their focus Thursday night was on Burford.

“We miss her and want her back, she didn’t deserve any of this, and she’s loved by all of us,” said her mom, Julia Cutter.

Her parents and siblings are remembering Burford for her kind heart and gifted voice.

“She was a talented singer, all she needed was some help, and she would have been up there,” Cutter said.

The loss is felt deep for loved ones.

“I got my husband and I’ve got my other kids, but where do you go from here,” Cutter said.

Family held services Thursday night, saying some of the people showing up were strangers. It’s a testiment to the type of person Burford was.

“She was an angel before she even left here,” her sister said.

Burford’s family says they will lay her to rest in Michigan this weekend. That’s where she’s from.

Also happening this weekend: a benefit ride in Savannah’s honor. It will take place Sunday, January 19 at Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson. Registration starts at noon, with kickstands up at 2 p.m.

Gabriel Turcios is set to appear in court on March 6.

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