Family, Friends Remember Elizabeth Olten 1 Year Later

8 years 21 hours 3 minutes ago Friday, October 22 2010 Oct 22, 2010 Friday, October 22, 2010 12:17:04 AM CDT October 22, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Family and friends remembered the life of deceased St. Martins 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten Thursday afternoon.

The ceremony started at 5 p.m at Concord Baptist Church in Jefferson City.

The ceremony was a simple service consisting of prayer and stories about Olten.

Then, at 5:30 p.m., the family went to a nearby cemetery to release balloons in her honor. Olten went missing one year ago today. 

Teenager Alyssa Bustamante is charged with her murder. She has pleaded not guilty.

Concord Baptist Church Senior Pastor Monte Shinkle said before the ceremony it would be an emotional time for the family.

"We just want to remember her for the great little girl that she was and the life that she lived so we might be able to comfort this family as they continue to walk through this," Shinkle said.

Shinkle said the Olten family originally intended for the ceremony to be a private one for family and friends.  However, it changed its mind after hearing community interest.

"Initially, it started as family and close friends, but obviously other people have learned about it and the family is not going to turn away others who just want to be a part of it," Shinkle said.

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