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Fla. Teen Remembered at Funeral

May 2, 2002

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MIAMI (AP) _ The poem eulogizing Ana Maria Angel resonated through the packed church, the poet’s shaking voice standing out among the weeping of teen-agers and the sniffling of adults.

``A face of an angel is all that is here, one that is stained by terrified tears,″ said South Miami High School senior Charles Zachritz, paying tribute to Angel, the 18-year-old found shot to death Monday in bushes alongside a highway.

Zachritz was one of about 500 mourners who came to St. Dominic Catholic Church on Wednesday for the young woman’s funeral.

Angel and her boyfriend, Eddy Nelson Portobanco, were abducted by four men and a 16-year-old boy early Sunday after a walk on the beach, police said. Her body was found along I-95 near Pompano Beach. Autopsy results indicate she appeared to have been sexually assaulted.

The attackers tried to slit Portobanco’s throat, authorities say. He came to Wednesday’s funeral, dressed in black and wearing a white bandage on his neck.

White roses were placed on Angel’s casket. Her mother, Margarita Osorio, thanked the more than 400 schoolmates who came to grieve.

``Remember her smiling and remember her for her joy for living,″ Osorio said.

As Angel’s casket was wheeled into the church, meanwhile, the four men accused in her death walked into court.

Cesar Antonio Mena, Joel G. Lebron, Victor Manuel Caraballo and his younger brother, Hector Manuel Caraballo, were ordered held without bond Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed kidnapping and armed robbery. Mena, 22, returns to court Friday for appointment of an attorney. Arraignment was set for May 20 for Hector Caraballo, Lebron and Mena and for May 21 for Victor Caraballo.

Jesus Torres Roman, 16, also is charged in the abduction and killing. He waived his appearance in juvenile court Tuesday and was ordered held in secure detention.

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