Friends and family embraced each other and sobbed. Phoebe’s mother, Michelle Kerr, wore a brightly-colored sundress. She wept as she entered the church.
In addition to the tears, there was palpable anger toward Phoebe’s father, John Jonchuck, who was arrested last week for throwing the girl off the 62-foot-tall bridge. At one point, a man shouted angrily during the service, apparently directing his ire at John Jonchuck.
“There needs to be a lot of forgiveness here today,” said Pastor Brent Byerman at Lake Magdeline United Methodist Church, “not only for the person who took Phoebe’s life, but also for ourselves.”