County facilities to have flags at half mast today

Supervisors pays respects to 2 girls killed earlier this year

Alameda County officials will lower flags to half mast toay at county facilities in the memory of two 17-year-old girls who died in violent crimes earlier this year.

The flags will be lowered and a Children's Memorial Flag will be raised in memory of Tamara Thompson and Amanda Caravantes, according to Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele.

Thompson was a runaway from an Alameda County group home and was found strangled in Oakland on March 31. She had previously attended Mountain View High School.

Police found Thompson after receiving a report of an unresponsive female in the 3700 block of Webster Street. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Caravantes was allegedly shot to death by an abusive boyfriend in Fremont on Sept. 11.

She had recently separated from the boyfriend and was exchanging a cell phone with him outside a home in the 4300 block of Millard Avenue, according to Fremont police Detective Bill Veteran.

The boy then allegedly used a small-caliber handgun to shoot Caravantes in the head before turning the gun on himself, Veteran said. The boy was taken to a hospital in grave condition and later died.

Caravantes was a student at Newark Memorial High School and had recently received her driver's permit and started her first job at an oncology clinic where she worked with her mother, Steele said.

The county's Board of Supervisors adjourned its board meeting Tuesday in honor of Caravantes and Thompson. The board is also requesting that the cities of Oakland and Newark lower their flags.

The Children's Memorial Flag was created by the Child Welfare League of America as part of a campaign to direct attention to the tragedy of violent child deaths. DanMcMenamin0308a09/25/09

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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