SPRINGFIELD—They came by the dozens, parking in the lot and then, when that was full, on the street and on the grass. They walked in pairs and in small groups, clasping hands and offering close friends a hug or a kiss on the cheek.
By 3 p.m., hundreds had arrived at Sampson’s Chapel of the Acres funeral home to mourn Amy E. Lord, a 24-year-old Wilbraham native who was brutally beaten, kidnapped and murdered last Tuesday in Boston.
Walking to the funeral home today, Kathy Tranghese stopped to recount her memories of Lord, who was a close friend of her daughter’s and used to accompany her on family vacations.
“We are all very somber today,” she said. “Amy was just so jovial and happy and good-hearted. She will always be one of my daughter’s best friends.”
Lord’s family arrived at the funeral home around 2 p.m., said John Sampson, owner of the funeral home. He said he expected close to 1,000 people to pass through the funeral home before the wake ends around 7 p.m. tonight.
Funeral services are set for tomorrow at St. Cecilia’s Church in Wilbraham, followed by private rites of committal and interment.
Lord was attacked by a man as she walked out her apartment building at 124 Dorchester St. in South Boston last Tuesday shortly before 6 a.m. She was forced back into the vestibule of the building, beaten by her assailant, and then forced to drive to five Boston ATMs to withdraw cash.
Her body was found Tuesday afternoon at the Stony Brook Reservation in Hyde Park.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis has said investigators are focused on one person as Lord’s attacker as authorities review footage from surveillance cameras and seek a link between Lord and her attacker from DNA evidence, fingerprints, and from Lord’s car, which was discovered burning on a South Boston street hours before she was found dead.
Davis has also expressed disappointment in the quality of the investigation conducted by a detective last year into the attack on a woman as she walked on Parker Hill Street in Roxbury.
The woman was strangled into unconsciousness, but she managed to grab the wallet of Edwin J. Alemany, who is now accused of attacking two women in South Boston the same day that Lord was killed. Alemany was not charged in the 2012 Roxbury incident, and Davis said the department’s internal affairs unit is researching the quality of the investigation.
Alemany, 28, of Boston, has not been charged with murdering Lord and is currently undergoing a competency evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital following his arrest for allegedly attacking the two other women in South Boston.
Davis and the head of the citywide drug control unit, Lieutenant Detective Robert Merner, are set to meet with South Boston residents tonight at a community meeting. Officials from State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the state’s Probation Department along with local elected leaders are also expected to attend the meeting at the Tynan Elementary School.
Lord, a Wilbraham native, was the oldest of three sisters.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University, and for the past two years worked at a digital marketing and Web design firm in the South End.
Mobile users unable to see the video, click here.