Hundreds of mourners gathered Tuesday morning at Naperville's St. Elizabeth Seton Parish to remember 7-year-old Justin Plackowski.
The nearly 90-minute funeral Mass was led by Rev. Richard Smith and was attended by family, friends, neighbors, police and Naperville Unit District 203 officials. Justin was a student at Scott School in District 203.
A colorful floral bouquet adorned his small wooden casket.
Justin was stabbed to death Oct. 30 in a horrific double murder in the city's Brookdale subdivision. Justin and 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski were slain. Justin's mother, 40-year-old Elzbieta Plackowska, is accused of committing the crime while watching the children in the Dworakowski home.
Olivia's family issued a statement Tuesday, shortly after Justin's funeral, in which they thank the community for its support and offer condolences and sympathy to the Plackowski family.
"Olivia was a loving, playful and happy daughter. She brought great joy to our lives and to the lives of her friends and family," the statement read. "She was caring and charitable and filled with all of the incredible potential of a 5-year-old. Although her life was taken too soon, we are consoled by our belief that the gates of heaven have opened up and received one of God's precious children."
A private memorial service has been arranged and a fund has been set up to help Olivia's family with funeral expenses. Those who would like to donate can stop at any Naperville Bank & Trust location or mail a donation to Naperville Bank & Trust, Olivia Dworakowski Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 294, Naperville, IL 60566. For details, call (630) 369-3555.