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At a vigil for Jassy Correia Thursday night, attendees — who ranged from family members to neighborhood folks who came to offer support for the family — held candles outside a Dorchester teen center and remembered Correia's life.
"She's a princess," said Isuara Mendes, a family friend of the Correias.
Mendes said she came to offer emotional support. After all, she knows what it's like to lose a child violently. Mendes said both of her sons were murdered.
"It's tough. Because how are we going to explain this to our young people?" she asked. "For someone to go to a club on her birthday and just take her happiness away. And take her away. And just take her life. That's really, really tough for the community."
Correia, a 23-year-old mother, was kidnapped after leaving the Venu nightclub in Boston late last month and her body was found in a suitcase in the trunk of a car driven by her suspected abductor in Delaware days later. The suspect, 32-year-old Louis Coleman, now faces a federal charge that could carry the death penalty.
Mendes, who lives in Dorchester, said she's known the Correia family for a long time.
"[Correia was] a beautiful girl," she said. "We're here to support the family and to pull through this tragedy that's happened to our community."
About 100 people showed up to the vigil, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, according to a spokeswoman for the mayor. Media members were not allowed inside the teen center.
While many people at the vigil encouraged the community to come together and show strength, it was evident that some people aren't at that point yet.
Queen Wornum said her daughter was friends with Correia. She said her daughter is still processing what happened.
"She's not saying a whole lot, because it affects her," Wornum said. This is the second friend her daughter lost to violence. The first was "Jojo" Dos Santos, who was shot and killed in 2015.
"As a parent, I just couldn't imagine. It's crushed my heart," Wornum said. "I pray for the family. I pray for all families — a lot of families have been through this. This is just — it's different. It's different."
Thousands of people have contributed more than $140,000 to a GoFundMe campaign that aims to help raise money for Correia's 2-year-old daughter, Gabriella.
Boston's mayor and police commissioner intend to have a meeting with club and bar owners to talk about how to increase security. Correia was the second woman to be kidnapped after a night out in Boston this year.
A wake for Correia is scheduled for Friday, a funeral for Saturday.
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