Raley-McCluskey memorial service Saturday

A public memorial service for Dena Raley-McCluskey is scheduled to be held Saturday, eight years and four months after the Modesto woman disappeared.

Her stepfather, Darwin West, said Raley-McCluskey's body remains in police custody pending the prosecution of Russell Jones, who is charged in her slaying.

"We cannot see waiting two or three years," West said, referring to a possible time frame for the trial. "We've already waited eight, and we need to put this phase behind us."

Raley-McCluskey had rented a room in Jones' Karen Way house before she vanished in October 1999 at age 36. Police recovered her remains Oct. 31 from a makeshift grave on property owned by Jones' parents near Groveland, and he was arrested the next day.

"It is time to end the vigils, darken the candles, remove the photos from the memory boards and place them back into the family albums," her survivors wrote for a Bee paid obituary notice.

A private interment next to her grandparents will follow when her remains are released, said West, an employee of Lakewood Funeral Home near Hughson. Saturday's service is scheduled to begin there at 10 a.m.

Dena Raley McCluskey's last days

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Dena Raley McCluskey's last days

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