White Sox prospect's sister, Vegas shooting victim remembered by loved ones, sports teams

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Hundreds of people packed St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach to bid farewell to one of the youngest victims of the Las Vegas shooting massacre.

Christiana Duarte was just 22 years old when she was killed along with 57 others at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on Oct. 1.

"Mikey Jr., Christiana's brother, gave probably one of the most moving speeches I've ever heard about the love he had for his sister and still has," said Danette Meyers, a friend of the Duartes who has been serving as the family spokesperson. "They were best friends. They were 16 months apart, so you can imagine just how close they were."

Duarte recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a business and marketing degree and worked for the Los Angeles Kings as a fan service associate.

Team President Luc Robitaille and other members of the Kings organization took part in Duarte's funeral service.

"It's a celebration of her life. She as a very special person. She just had such an impact in a short time with all of our staff," Robitaille said. "She was one of those persons who enjoyed life every day and that's what was shown today."
Another local sports team Duarte worked for was the Los Angeles Rams, who sponsored a celebration of life event held after the funeral. It was a chance for loved ones to share their thoughts and feelings about a life that was just starting out.

"It's just so shocking. So terribly shocking. I just hope the family can, in their loss, move on. But they will always remember their beautiful Chrissy," Meyers said.

Duarte was a 2013 graduate of South Torrance High School.

The sister of Chicago White Sox prospect Mikey Duarte, was in attendance at the country music festival where at least 59 were killed and more than 500 injured.

Christiana Duarte was at the Jason Aldean concert at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before the deadliest mass shooting in United States history took place there.

Mikey Duarte, 23, was signed by the White Sox in June and assigned to play for the Great Falls Voyagers.

According to her uncle, Jerry Laird, Duarte lost her phone and ID before the shooting.

One of the friends Duarte was with at the concert was shot in the face, Laird said.

Duarte's whole family was in Las Vegas searching for her after the shooting.

Duarte is also a cousin to a former New York Yankee, who was playing baseball in Japan and cut his season short because Duarte was killed.

Japanese media report that player Brandon Laird is also related to Duarte.

Brandon Laird is a third baseman with Japan's Nippon Ham Fighters. He also played for the Houston Astros before coming to Japan in 2015.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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