Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Police Make Arrest in Case of Murdered 14-Year-Old Alianna Defreeze

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:26 PM

  • Christopher Whitaker
Update: Cleveland police announced in a press conference this evening that 44-year-old Christopher Whitaker of South Euclid has been arrested in connection with the death of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze. The teen's body was found in an abandoned building on Fuller Ave. on Sunday; she'd been missing since Jan. 26.

Whitaker was taken into custody and arrested around 7:15 this evening in Mayfield Heights.

Whitaker previously served four years in prison in 2005 for sexual battery and felonious assault, according to Fox 8.

We'll update this post as more information becomes available.


Updated 2/1/17: Everyone's worst fears were officially confirmed early last evening when Cleveland police announced that the body found in an abandoned house on Fuller Ave. was that of missing 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze.

Authorities said her death is being investigated as a homicide but no details about what specifically led to her death have been announced.

DeFreeze went missing on Jan. 26. She was last seen getting on a bus near the 3400 block of East 149th St. She'd usually take that bus to a transfer at East 93rd and Kinsman where she'd then head to school. She never made it. Her body was found on Sunday night.

A $22,500 reward is offered for any information that leads to the arrest of the responsible parties. You can call homicide detectives at 216-623-5464, dial 911, call the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at 216-252-7463, or text TIP657 to CRIMES (274637).


(Original story 1/30/17): Cleveland police report that they've found a female body in an abandoned home on the city's east side while searching for missing 14-year-old Alianna Defreeze. This story is developing, and details remain scarce.

Defreeze did not make it to school (E Prep ) on Jan. 26, and she was reported missing that day. She was last seen getting onto an RTA bus somewhere in the 3400 block of East 149th Street. That bus takes her to 93rd and Kinsman, where she boards a second bus to East Prep, according to her mother.

"She's never done this ever before," her aunt told WOIO. "She's not known to run away. She's never run away, she's never been in any type of trouble. There’s no reason for her to run away from home so this is very unlike her.”

Investigators are continuing to seek additional information; they can be reached at 216-623-5418. Scene will keep this story updated as more information becomes public.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation