MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY - (Editor's note: The video report of the funeral from the July 18th 6 p.m. newscast is posted. Click on the above video player to watch.)
A funeral service was held Friday for a 27-year-old Morehead City police officer who passed away from an illness.
The service for Christina Della Cava took place Friday morning at Glad Tidings Church on Country Club Road in Morehead City.
Law enforcement vehicles participated in a blue light procession from the Morehead City Police Department to Glad Tidings Church. There was also a flag ceremony and a gun salute.
Officer Della Cava died Sunday from an illness, according to MHC Police. She was under medical care in Chapel Hill. The exact nature of her illness was not released. However, the death was unexpected. Della Cava started feeling sick on Tuesday, July 8, just five days before her death.
"We had spoken to her throughout the week and we knew she was sick, but we had no idea that was the last week she would be with us," said Morehead City Police Chief Wrenn Johnson.
Della Cava was just 27 years old.
Morehead City Mayor Jerry Jones spoke during Della Cava's funeral Friday.
"They remember the professional, firm, but nice way she presented herself while on the job. Mostly, they remember her bubbly, cheerful personality," said Mayor Jones.
"It's going to be tough without her," said Della Cava's brother, Patrick Imperati.
Della Cava's police vehicle is parked outside of the MCPD front entrance. Individual memorials at that site are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, Della Cava's family is requesting that donations be made in support of the officer's 6-year-old daughter, Jozelyn "Jo Jo" Della Cava. Those who wish to donate can go to (or mail to) any Wells Fargo Bank. Checks or deposits should be made to the account of Jozelyn Della Cava.
Della Cava was married and had been a Morehead City Police Officer for about three years. She was born in Cold Springs, N.Y., and grew up in Florida.
The Morehead City Police Department released the following statement on Facebook shortly after Della Cava's death.
"It is with the heaviest of hearts that this post is being made by Morehead City Police Department. We lost a vivacious, promising young officer [Sunday]. She was our co-worker, our family member, and our friend. Christina Della Cava, we hope you are in peace and know how much you will be missed.
"Please help us remember her life and how she touched us all in so many beautiful ways. Keep her family and friends in your thoughts."