Family receives diploma for slain C.H. Flowers High School stude - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Family receives diploma for slain C.H. Flowers High School student Amber Stanley

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Irma Gaither imagined this day quite differently. As graduates in cap and gown poured into the room, one was missing. It was her daughter, Amber.

"If she was here, I know she'd be running around kissing on her teachers,” says Gaither. “Excited. Saying 'Can you believe I'm going off to college?’ I know she would have been really happy if she was here.”

But she is not here. 17-year-old Amber Stanley was shot and killed while she slept in her bed back in August. She was just starting her senior year at Charles H. Flowers High School in Prince George's County.

"She was a wonderful person. She loved life. She loved her friends. She loved going to school," says Gaither.

For Amber and for herself, Gaither summoned the courage to come to graduation Tuesday to receive Amber's diploma. She says the encouragement of others has kept the family going.

Amber had hoped to become a doctor. That dream will not be realized, but her principal says she has still left her mark on her classmates and her community.

"Amber could have done anything she wanted to,” says Principal Gorman Brown III. “She started our Association of Aspiring Medical Professionals. We've created partnerships with NIH to help support those young people that wanted to be doctors. She talked about wanting to be a doctor and she would have had the opportunity to do so."

The family says they have been in regular communication with police, but so far, no arrests in the case.

Prince George's County Police spokesperson Julie Parker tells FOX 5: "A team of detectives is devoted to this case and this case alone. This was not a random act of violence. We have identified several strong leads in this investigation and we, like the rest of our community, are eager for it to close with an arrest."

For now, Gaither takes comfort in knowing Amber would have been so proud on this day.

"They can't bring her back, but it would give you some answers,” says Gaither. “Why would you be so mean to such a beautiful person?"

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