"Once she met someone once, it was like she knew them for life," Denise Haley says

By Char Adams
November 29, 2016 01:21 PM
Credit: Courtesy Chris Jennette

The friends and family of the 8-year-old Illinois girl found sexually assaulted and killed behind a building the day before Thanksgiving are remembering the little girl’s personable spirit.

“Once she met someone once, it was like she knew them for life,” Denise Haley, a friend of Sabrina Stauffenberg’s family, tells PEOPLE. “She never met a stranger, she just loved people.”

Sabrina was abducted from the porch of her home as she waited for a church bus on Wednesday, Haley says. She was later found dead behind a vinegar plant in the town and a spokeswoman with the state’s attorney’s office says she had been sexually assaulted and suffocated.

Haley says the family was in “complete shock” when Sabrina’s body was discovered, adding that the little girl loved her family very much.

“[Sabrina] loved playing outside. She loved animals,” Haley recalls of the little girl, noting that she had recently learned to ride a bike. “She just loved riding her bike. She loved playing outdoors, with video games, swimming and doing crafts.”

Glen Ramey, 53, was arrested on Sunday and charged with first-degree murder and predatory sexual assault in Sabrina’s death. His bail has been set at $10 million and he has not yet entered a plea or retained an attorney.

Sabrina was allegedly “lured” off the family porch by Ramey. Haley said Ramey had met the little girl “on several occasions” and had dated one of Sabrina’s cousins.

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“He was just walking home and he saw Sabrina standing outside and lured her away form the porch,” Haley tells PEOPLE. “She knew him so she would’ve went.”


“[We’re] relieved he’s not running the streets,” Haley says of Ramey. “Honestly, he should get the death penalty, but Illinois doesn’t recognize that.”

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Haley started a GoFundMe page to help the girl’s family in the wake of Sabrina’s death.

Credit: Illinois State Police

In Haley’s initial post on the page, she wrote: “Last night this little girl was taken too soon. Although details are slim and our whole community is grieving such a horrific loss nothing can compare to what the family is experiencing.”

Haley described the little girl as “loving.”

A funeral for Sabrina will be held on Friday at Kistler-Patterson Funeral Home.