Family of murdered teen: ‘Savannah was the sweetest girl you’d ever meet’

Local News

NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — Julia Cutter held her 19-year-old daughter as she bled to death outside her workplace Wednesday night.

Pigeon Forge police said that Savannah Burford was talking with her co-worker, Gabriel Turcios, when he allegedly stabbed her.

Cutter saw the entire stabbing and didn’t realize it until it was too late.

“When I got there, she couldn’t even scream when that guy was stabbing her. That’s how fast he did it. She didn’t even scream,” Cutter said.

Burford was the youngest of seven.

Cutter said they moved to East Tennessee in November, after they fell in love with the area during vacation.

A few days after moving to Newport, Burford found a job at the Sunliner Diner.

“She was very shy. She couldn’t talk to anybody, and then she got this job at the Sunliner Diner and she was talking to everybody. She was always talking to everybody, she felt so comfortable with them,” Cutter said.

Cutter said her daughter loved to sing, but was too shy to try and make a career out of it at first.

“She always wanted to sing. That’s why this job was giving her the confidence to talk to people and that’s why I was starting to find jobs for her to sing,” Cutter said.

One of her brothers, Jared Burford, said that his sister wanted to go to every Harry Styles concert she could, and that she was going to go to his concert in Nashville in a few months.

The family said that Savannah Burford was very smart, sweet and had a bright future.

“She’d have been your best friend. No matter who you were, she would’ve been your best friend,” Jared Burford said.

She was the type of person who would say the truth, but in the nicest way so it wouldn’t hurt someone’s feelings.

The family said she was like that even toward her killer.

“Either I or (Jared Burford) has to go pick her up and she always would point him out to us, who he was, saying ‘that’s Gabe, that’s Gabe, that’s Gabe,'” Cutter said.

The family said Savannah Burford wasn’t pointing out Turcios because he was a friend, but was someone who had been bothering her.

The family is devastated, as their youngest daughter and sister was brutally killed right in front of Cutter. They want justice for Savannah.

They showed pictures of Savannah Burford, one of which was of her wearing her newest work uniform — a 1950s style dress.

The last photo taken of Savannah Burford. (Photo courtesy of Burford family)

Jared Burford said that picture showed exactly who his sister was.

It was also the last photo taken of her, as it was taken on the same night she was murdered.

The family said they wished the world could’ve heard Savannah Burford sing in person, but after her death, they hoped the world would listen to the songs she posted online.

She loved to sing cover songs of Harry Styles.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help with the cost of Savannah Burford’s funeral.

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