Family remember Beaverton teenager ‘always smiled’

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A teenage suspect is behind bars charged with the murder of a 13-year-old girl in Beaverton.

Daniel Gore, 16, was charged in juvenile court on Friday with first-degree murder, but there is a chance he will be tried as an adult. Li’s family said Milana did not know Gore.

The arrest finally brings answers to Milana Li’s family more than a week after she was found dead.

Li’s family told KOIN 6 News that they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from so many in the community.

The family received a box of homemade cards from classmates – sharing their friend’s condolences and memories.

  • Milana Li murder: Family remembers Beaverton teenager

“I never see her angry, she was always smiling ‘okay grandma, okay grandma,'” Li’s grandmother Lydia Li said.

Her grandmother explained that the pain of the loss is almost unbearable.

“The pain…this pain is not possible to describe, you have to go through this pain. I don’t want anyone to go through this,” Lydia Li said.

The family described Milana as shy but kind and always happy with what she had – rarely, if ever, asking for gifts or material things. Her grandmother told KOIN 6 News of the time they surprised Milana with a trip to the cellphone store — something she never asked for.

“She was speechless, she didn’t know what to say, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,'” Li’s grandmother said.

Milana leaves behind two siblings, including a 5-year-old sister who adored her.

“Milana was like a second mom to her,” Li said. “She took very good care of herself, and Milana was a responsible girl.”

Li says the little girl doesn’t understand where her sister has gone and asks when she and Milana can play together again. “”I miss Milana so much, where is she, when will she be back? ‘” Li said.

Milana had a growth spurt recently and had outgrown her clothes. When her mother and grandmother took her shopping, she was content to buy only a t-shirt and jeans and she never got a chance to wear the clothes.

Li was buried on Thursday. A public memorial service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Cedar Mill Bible Church.

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