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One year after death Alicia DeBolts death, family sends message
Accused killer awaits trial in Barton County
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One year after the death of Alicia DeBolt, family members are planning to honor the memory of the Great Bend teenager by releasing message-laden balloons.

Sunday marks the anniversary of the night Alicia disappeared, just days before she was scheduled to start her freshman year at Great Bend High School. Her sister, Dawn DeBolt, has posted a message on the Great Bend Tribune’s Facebook page, inviting the public to join in the anniversary commemoration. It says family members are asking everyone to write a message to Alicia on a balloon and release it at 8 tonight. Dawn DeBolt’s message encourages participants to buy a biodegradable balloon with no string attached. Family members will release their balloons at the cemetery.

"We want everyone to be aware of the dangers out there in this cruel world," Dawn DeBolt posted on Facebook. "Please post your pictures on your Facebook page so everyone can see all the people who participated. Thank you all for all your love and support. Our community is the best."

Adam Longoria, the man accused of killing the 14-year-old girl on the night of Aug. 21, 2010, is in custody in the Sedgwick County Jail, where the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit is preparing for his capital murder case. The Kansas Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case in Barton County District Court, and the next court appearance is set for Oct. 5. There will be a preliminary hearing on amended charges filed in the case. The state has changed its theory in DeBolt’s death, alleging she was killed after an attempted rape, but continues to seek the death penalty.

Following the preliminary hearing, District Judge Hannelore Kitts will take up the matter of pending motions in the case. The attorneys have been advised to set aside a second day if the proceedings cannot be completed in one day.

There will be at least one more pre-trail hearing before a trial date is scheduled.