Tahlequah community holds funeral for murdered child

TULSA - About 200 people gathered to pay their respects to a three-year-old boy murdered last week.

The funeral for Dakota Sanders was held today at the Green Country Funeral Home chapel in Tahlequah.

The little boy had few relatives able to attend the funeral.

His mother and stepfather are in jail on murder charges in connection to his death.

Most people who attended the funeral never met Dakota, but were sadden by his death.

Several police officers also showed up, including Tahlequah police chief, Nate King.

"It was a tragedy not only in Dakota losing his life, but also the lack of family that he has," said King. "I was moved by the amount of law enforcement not just from the police department but from neighboring agencies that came out in support today."

King said the little boy's death also touched a nerve inside his own department.

He said many veteran officers had a hard time dealing with the tragedy.

"I was probably moved as much as my detectives," said King. "I'm a father before I'm the chief of police. I'm a father. I'm an uncle. I'm a brother and it's something that touches everyone at home."

Community members also helped pay for Dakota's funeral expenses through donations.

Dakota was buried at the Tahlequah City Cemetery.

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