A nine-year-old girl was laid to rest on Monday — two days after what would have been her 10th birthday.
Eliahna Garcia was one of 19 young students killed in a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas last month.
Her family remembered her as "such a sweet girl with a lovely and beautiful soul."
Nine-year-old Eliahna "Ellie" Garcia should have celebrated her "double digits" birthday this past weekend.
The young girl's family had already planned a birthday party at her grandmother's house where Ellie hoped to receive "Encanto"-themed presents during the Saturday celebration, her aunt told The Associated Press this week.
Instead, Ellie's family laid her to rest on Monday, memorializing the child nearly two weeks after an 18-year-old gunman killed 21 people, including 19 students, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The family held a visitation on Sunday and then gathered for a funeral mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Uvalde on Monday, according to The AP.
Siria Arizmendi, Ellie's aunt, told the outlet that her niece loved to dance and play sports, especially cheerleading and basketball. She dreamed of one day becoming a teacher, CNN reported.
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Ellie loved the movie "Encanto, her aunt said, and following her death, Disney sent her parents a custom-made dress resembling a costume worn by one of the film's characters, local media reported.
"She loved that movie and talked a lot about it," Arizmendi told The AP.
A GoFundMe page set up by her family remembered Ellie as "such a sweet girl with a lovely and beautiful soul."
"She would light up everyone's world with big smiles & big hugs," it said.
Her aunt told The AP that Ellie was already practicing choreography with her older sister in preparation for her quinceañera, despite it being years away.
"She was shy but changed in front of the camera," her aunt said.
Funerals for the children and teachers killed in the tragedy began last Tuesday — one week after the shooting. Ten-year-olds Amerie Joe Garza and Maite Rodriguez were the first young victims to be laid to rest last week.
The two funeral homes in the small town said earlier this month that they were so overwhelmed by the shooting that it could take weeks to bury all of the people killed.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott previously announced that an anonymous donor would cover the cost of funerals for all the dead.
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