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Playground created in murdered 6-year-old’s name

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Posted at 4:32 PM, May 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-30 23:26:05-04

WEST JORDAN -- The sound of children's laughter greets visitors at the Sierra Newbold Memorial Playground.

Kathy Newbold smiles as she watches the children play. Sierra-Newbold

"Sierra would have loved it," she said. "I'm sure she'd be begging to go every day."

On Friday, West Jordan city officials cut the ribbon on the playground, a splash pad and a pair of basketball courts. The playground is in Ron Wood Park (named after a police officer killed in the line of duty) at 5900 W. New Bingham Highway.

The playground is named after 6-year-old Sierra, who was kidnapped from her home in 2012, sexually assaulted and then her body dumped in a canal.

The playground has a memorial sign with Sierra's name on it, but it will also be a memorial to other victims of child abuse.

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A child plays with a West Jordan police officer at the opening of the Sierra Newbold Memorial Playground.

"I hope for the children they take away fun memories. Great summer activities and just that joy of childhood and summer," Kathy Newbold said of the playground. "For adults? I hope they take the time to look at the memorial. It's just not Sierra on there. There's going to be other children listed, those who have lost their lives due to child abuse."

The playground was designed for children of all abilities -- including those who are disabled. There are ramps and larger sized swings to accommodate children who are in wheelchairs.

"It's great to have a place where the kids can come and feel safe," said Kristen Riquino, who was here with her 9-year-old daughter, Gabi. "I think it's great."

Splash Pad at the Sierra Newbold Memorial Playground

Children play in the splash pad at the Sierra Newbold Memorial Playground.

The splash pad was also popular with children, who ran through the fountains and water spouts in the summer sun.

"The amount of activities that'll be available here are just incredible," said West Jordan Mayor Kim Rolfe. "We're so excited for it."

Sierra Newbold's accused killer, Terry Lee Black, is facing aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape of a child charges. Salt Lake County prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty.