NEWBURGH, N.Y. — A procession of family, friends and teachers led Marissa Kennedy’s small casket into St. Mary’s Church on Saturday for her funeral Mass.

Mourners, many sobbing, rose and sang the Christian hymn “Let There Be Peace on Earth” as pallbearers placed the white casket with gold trim in front of the church.

Marissa, who was 10, was found dead in the Stockton Springs, Maine, condominium where she was living with her mother, Sharon Carrillo, 33, and her stepfather, Julio Carrillo, 51.

Police allege that both adults brutally beat Marissa every day since October until she was found unresponsive by the family Feb. 25. Police said the Carrillos hatched a plan to make her death appear to be an accident, and staged the scene in a basement boiler room before calling 911.

Marissa lived in New Windsor, New York, until 2016.

On Saturday, the child came home to St. Mary’s for her funeral. The Rev. Bill Scafidi, who was pastor at St. Mary’s for 18 years, baptized Marissa in October 2007.


“This is where she was baptized, so it is only fitting that we say goodbye here,” Scafidi said as he opened the service.

Marissa’s maternal grandparents, Roseann and Joe Kennedy, live in New Windsor.

Anglican Bishop Jerry Roy, Roseann’s brother, talked about how the Kennedys took Marissa into their home for a time. The little girl was a “gift from God,” Roy said. “She reveled in learning about the wonders of the world around her.”

“Light is what I think of when I think of Marissa,” Roy said. “She is near us. You can talk to her. Tell her not to be in fear. Tell her angels will help her and lead her.”

“Lord, God, give her peace,” Scafidi prayed. “We ask that you open the gates of paradise to your young servant.”

About 200 people packed the church for Marissa’s funeral Mass. Before she left New Windsor, Marissa attended Windsor Academy and New Windsor School. TV stations made the trip from Maine. A group of Roseann Kennedy’s relatives came from Massachusetts, where Roseann grew up.


“We had to come here for Roseann. Marissa was such a beautiful little girl,” said Pat Gelinas, who lives in Salisbury, Massachusetts. “It’s such a horrible thing that happened to her.”

After the service, Scafidi talked about how St. Mary’s has been closed since 2015, but the family contacted him and he opened the church for Marissa’s funeral. “I was honored to do it,” Scafidi said.

The Mass card for the funeral has a picture of Marissa on one side, a smile on her face. She’s wearing glasses and a blue sweater.

On the other side, the legend describes “a little girl in the throes of hell.” “How can our community ever recover?” the card asks. “If we notice something is not right, do all that we can to bring it to light.”

Last week, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, in his first public statement on the killing, blamed child protective workers, school officials, police and legislators for failing to prevent Marissa’s death.

“The whole system is flawed,” LePage said. “We talk a good game but we don’t take action. We say we want to protect these kids but what we put in place isn’t adequate to protect these kids.”

The Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee voted Friday to investigate how the Department of Health and Human Services and other public agencies handled the slayings of Marissa and 4-year-old Kendall Chick of Wiscasset. Kendall’s foster mother is charged with depraved indifference murder in her December death – the same charge faced by Marissa’s mother and stepfather. The classification signifies that the accused showed no regard for the value of human life.

Rep. Patty Hymanson, D-York, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee, requested the probe, noting that Marissa’s death was the second recent case involving a Maine child who police say died after being beaten for months.

The Maine Sunday Telegram contributed to this report.

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