Funeral for Tabitha Cruz set for Saturday

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Cruz

Funeral services for Tabitha Cruz, the 20-year-old who was shot and killed
along with Omani Free, 18, by a gunman during a Halloween party last Sunday
morning, will be held on Saturday morning at Crossroads Assembly of God
Church in the Town of Newburgh.

The daughter of Miguel Cruz and Jeannette Drake, she was a 2014 graduate
of Newburgh Free Academy.

She had a dream of becoming a veterinarian and continued her education
at Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. “Her love for animals was
unconditional,” her obituary read.

In addition to her parents, “Tabby” is survived by her stepfather
Ray Degrafenried; stepmother Tina Durocher; sisters Jaleeya, Madison,
Jahnalyse and stepsisters Anastasiah, Da’nayah, Kawanzaa and Kiyajh;
brothers Lakeem and Miguel Jr., and stepbrothers Ray Jr., Charles, Kwamane,
Palmis and Deakwan; and several aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family.

Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, November 4 at
Crossroads Assembly of God, 7 D’Alfonso Road in Newburgh. The Saturday
funeral at the church will be held at 9 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, people are asked to make a donation in Tabitha’s
memory to your local animal shelter.

Police continue a dragnet looking for the suspect in the double murders
at 119 Broadway, Nija Johnson, 17, also a Newburgh resident. New York
State Crime Stoppers has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading
to the location, arrest and conviction of Johnson.