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Family, friends gather to celebrate the life of Katelynn Shelhamer

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 2:34 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - People gathered at the Nunaka Valley baseball fields Saturday night to honor the life of Katelynn Shelhamer.

“She was a very loving person,” said Tali Laws, as she remembered Shelhamer.

“We all argued with her,” Laws laughed as she recalled the friend she made at the Alaska Military Youth Academy. “She was a very opinionated, and bold young woman.”

The park is not just where she and others come for the ceremony, it’s also the place where Shelhamer’s young life ended at just 18-years-old.

Anchorage Police found her body there during the early morning hours of June 8. Police said she suffered trauma to her upper body, and ruled the death a homicide.

Shelhamer turned 18 back in April. Family and friends say she straightened out her life and looked forward to the future.

“Her big smile could light up a room as she often brought joy and laughter to those around her,” said Antonio Odom, another friend. “It’s so beautiful to see the impact and mark Katelynn has had on so many of us.”

The ceremony also carried a message.

“You never know what the next day brings,” Laws said, as she and others called for an end to violence around Anchorage. “It’s not a joke anymore. This is someone who wanted to change her life. Don’t wait too long. The next day is not guaranteed.”

Family and friends said Saturday’s service is the only one that will take place for Shelhamer.

Meanwhile, no arrests have been made in the case APD asks you to call 3-1-1, or Crime Stoppers, if you have any information,

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