More Than One Year Later, Family of Sabrina Ray Holds Celebration of Life

EARLHAM, Iowa -- Sabrina Ray’s biological family held a celebration of life service before laying her to rest on Sunday.

“I want the world to remember Sabrina as a fun loving little girl that loved life. She was full of life,” Sabrina’s Biological Father Joe Busch said.

It’s been more than a year since first responders found the 16-year-old Perry girl dead in the home of her adoptive family Marc and Misty Ray in May of 2017.

“When we got the call it was for a 16-year-old girl, cardiac arrest and unresponsive, CPR in progress. So we are thinking one of our typical calls we are trained for. We are going to go in and not knowing,” Perry Fire Department First Responder Aimee Bane said.

The Rays were charged with first degree murder in connection with Sabrina’s death and now the family, friends and first responders said this service gives them closure.

“Relief. A little bit of a closure for me, my family and friends. I know she’s going to be with God, up in heaven with her mom and her other family,” Busch said.

Busch said getting Sabrina's remains returned to them was a challenge.

"To get her remains, we had to go through some steps. It was a long fight on that one, because we were told we weren’t going to get them. But I reached out to a friend, that had some help and my dad also had some help in that, contacting DHS," Busch said.

Bane said she was one of the first people at the scene.

“I was on scene that day. Even though I wasn’t allowed to go in I was still there. I had seen the chaos and it puts a little closure for me and also to represent the Perry Fire Department and first responders,” Bane said.

Busch said he never wanted to give her up and he wishes he could have been there for her during her time of need.

“The one I really miss the most was seeing her when I came home from work. She always gave me a hug and a kiss. You know, I miss that,” Busch said.

Sabrina’s family buried her in De Soto Sunday evening.