(ATLANTA) — Music and prayer filled Georgia’s Clark Atlanta University campus Sunday night as grieving students came together to remember slain classmate Alexis Crawford, allegedly killed by her roommate and the roommate’s boyfriend.
Crawford’s mother “physically was unable to speak” when police told her the 21-year-old’s remains were found, family spokesman Rev. Markel Hutchins said. “All she could do was listen. And she said simply, ‘thank you.'”
Meanwhile, Crawford’s father, “crying uncontrollably,” said, “they didn’t have to kill my baby,” Hutchins told the crowd at Sunday’s candlelight vigil.
Crawford’s roommate, Jordyn Jones, 21, and Jones’ boyfriend, Barron Brantley, 21, have been charged with malice murder in connection with the Oct. 31 death of Crawford, Atlanta police said on Saturday.
Crawford, also 21, died by asphyxiation, the medical examiner determined, according to police.
In honor of Crawford, Hutchins asked those at Sunday’s vigil to hug someone next to them and tell them “you love them” “whether you know them or not.”
“Love conquers hate,” Hutchins said. “The love that you have for one another conquers hate.”
Crawford has nine siblings, including a brother who attends Clark Atlanta University, University President George French said at the vigil.
“They need us now more than ever,” French said.
Crawford had been reported missing on Nov. 1, launching a search by Atlanta police. Her body was found in a park in DeKalb County on Friday after one of the suspects led police to her body, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said.
While a specific motive was not clear, four days before Crawford died, she had reported to police that she was the victim of “unwanted kissing and touching” from Brantley, Shields said Friday.
“The case has come to one of the saddest conclusions possible and has been absolutely heartbreaking,” Shields said. “To Alexis’ family, our hearts go out to you. I am so truly sorry that we could not provide you with a better ending.”
To the university community, Student Government Association President Frank Ortega said at the vigil, “The pain will still be there.”
“Take care of yourselves,” he said. “Allow yourself to grieve.”
Crawford’s funeral will be on Saturday, French said.
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