The mother of a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped in Massillon is thanking the community for its outpouring of support since the tragedy.
"We never expected that a day like this would come," the girl's mother wrote in a letter she gave to the Massillon Police Department. "When it did, our community has helped restore our faith in humanity, when such inhumanity and insanity took the innocence of our daughter."
The girl was walking home from the library near St. Paul's Church last month when she was forced into a vehicle, transported a short distance to a parking lot, sexually assaulted, beaten and threatened prior to being released. She walked home and told her family, who reported it to the police.
Dennis Menefee Jr., 45, of Port Washington was arrested in connection with the crime days later. He was charged with rape, kidnapping, assault and aggravate menacing.
After the incident, several residents reached out to the Massillon Police Department, asking how they could help.
Because of the outpouring of support, the department then set up a fund for people to donate to send the girl to Disney World.
Read the full letter from the child's mother below: