Family and friends gathered at Suggett Park in Cortland yesterday to hold a vigil and share memories of 16-year-old Amie Leland who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend earlier this month.
The crowd lit candles and many wore t-shirts with a picture of Amie. On the back of the shirt was the phrase “start each day with a positive thought”, a phrase which friends say described Amie Leland’s attitude towards life.
Supporters turned to each other for strength as they try to make sense of what appears to be a senseless death.
Leland was beaten and stabbed to death in her parents Cortland home on the afternoon of May 8th.
Leland’s ex-boyfriend 23-year-old Michael Hammond II of Virgil has admitted to the killing but claims he never intended to hurt the teen. The couple had recently broken up and Hammond says he just wanted to talk with Leland in hopes of rekindling their relationship.
Friends of Hammond have said they are shocked that he could have killed Leland and describe him as non-violent person.
Friends described Leland as a bright, positive, caring person. Toward the end of the vigil they released teal balloons in her honor, teal was Leland’s favorite color.