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Candlelight vigil held for teen killed on Milwaukee's south side

Jermont Terry & WTMJ News Team

Candlelight vigil held for teen killed on Milwaukee's south side

By Jermont Terry & WTMJ News Team. CREATED Apr 25, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 25, 2012

MILWAUKEE - The vacant house at 2512 W. Rogers Street is boarded up now.

Back on Friday April 20, some teenagers found the body of 15 year-old Stephanie Romero.  Milwaukee police say the Romero was beaten, choked and stabbed to death by Eduardo Ivanez.

Nearly 50 mourners lit candles Wednesday night to remembered her.  "There's a big hole in my heart.  She was my best friend," explained a sobbing Alanis Skenandore.  Skenandore told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Jermont Terry she has a lot of anger towards Ivanez. "I don't understand why you would do that. Why you would take somebody's life," said Skenandore.

She added Romero was a runaway and troubled teen, but did not deserve to die in this manner.

Ivanez, who 17 years-old, is charged with first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

Police say Romero went into the vacant house with Ivanez, but once inside Romero turned down Ivanez's sexual advances. When she refused, the criminal complaint shows Ivanez hit her twice.

The complaint says Ivanez eventually choked the girl for two minutes and later stabbed her in
the chest and eye.

What's disturbed Skenandore the most is that her friend stayed in house for days. "The person who did that brought in other kids and basically showed her body off," explained Skenandore.

Police say Ivanez eventually called friends to hide the body and even attempted to perform a sex act with the corpse.  "That's sick.  It's sick she's dead already," said Skenandore.

Ivanez faces life in prison if convicted on the charges.

His bail was set at $500,000 on Wednesday.