Journalism / New Haven Register

Hit-run victim, 11, laid to rest

By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff
June 15, 2008

HAMDEN — Hundreds of people filled the Edgewood Park Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses Saturday t o lay to rest 11-year-old Gabrielle Lee.

The hall overflowed with mourners for Gabrielle, who died June 5 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Whalley Avenue in New Haven. In the entrance to the hall, poster boards filled with smiling photos of the girl stood as a tribute to “Gabby.”

In the parking lot outside, her second cousin Jose DeJesus remembered Gabrielle as a vibrant child.

“She was a very happy girl, very outgoing,” he said.

Maurice Daylie, who described himself as her aunt’s boyfriend, said that the services Friday night and Saturday were a show of support for the family.

“It’s just a very tough situation in regards for her mother, father, brother and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles,” he said. “She comes from a very loving family and everyone is just trying to be supportive.”

Daylie described Gabrielle as “an angel.”

“She was a beautiful child, very intelligent,” he said. “It’s hard to put in words what everyone’s going through right now because this was so unforeseen.”

Police are still looking for the driver of the Volkswagen Jetta that hit Gabrielle, and Gov. M. Jodi Rell has authorized a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Gabrielle was a fifth-grade student at Elm City College Prep and lived in Westville with her family. She is survived by her parents, Jeffrey and Martha Lee, as well as a brother and two sisters.

Memorial contributions for Gabrielle can be sent to 1234 Forest Rd., New Haven, 06515.

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