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Child Murder Keeps Saginaw Residents Inside, On Edge

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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SAGINAW (CBS 11 NEWS) - There was little visual evidence it was the Fourth of July in Saginaw where local, state and federal investigators are searching for the person who murdered 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher.

“I’ts a lot more quiet,” said Owen Whiddon, a teenager who was playing in front of his house. “Not as much people.”

When asked if people were scared he said, “The parents probably. They won’t let their kids outside.”

Owen Whiddon was the teenager who found Gallagher’s body under a tarp in the street.

His family was visited by the FBI Thursday morning asking questions about what they saw.

The family didn’t want to elaborate on the FBI visit except to say it was brief.

But Owen Whiddon did tell us with the fear of a child killer on the loose, he doesn’t dare ride his scooter out of his family’s line of sight.

“I only ride down there with my scooter and I stay right here on the sidewalk

It’s apparent other families feel the same.

The public pool is normally crowded with people. Thursday, there were only a handful there.

Parks and playgrounds were all but deserted.

But there is one place that still draws families from their homes.

People continue to visit the growing memorial at the site where Gallagher’s body was found.

A steady stream of people still leaves toys and religious symbols that are now in a sprawling line ten yards long.

Some pray. Others cry.

Ironically, the place where Gallagher’s body was found under a tarp is now the most comforting spot for a scared, grieving community.

“It brings peace to us knowing that we can just go over there and pray,” said Owen’s mother Katie Whiddon who saw Gallagher’s body shortly after her son had discovered it . “Its nice to seeing everybody from the community walking over there and giving bears and it’s just nice, to me, seeing they care.”

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