The Associated Press
NORTH CANTON — Hundreds of candles flickered outside the house of a slain pregnant woman Friday night as community members gathered for a vigil to remember the single mother and her unborn daughter.
Authorities say Jessie Davis, 26, was killed by her police officer boyfriend in the Northeast Ohio home on June 14. Her body was found nine days later after thousands of volunteers spent three days searching the area around the home in nearby Lake Township.
On Friday, a somber crowd stood on the front lawn and spilled into the street in front of the home, where the front porch was covered with flowers, teddy bears and toys for Davis’ 2½-year-old son, Blake.
“Your smile painted a picture of the type of person you are and what your daughter might have been,” said Richard Peck, 47, who lives two houses away and helped organize the event.
The ceremony lasted about 45 minutes as organizers read prayers and played religious music while mourners quietly held their red-and-white candles high and a news helicopter circled overhead, at times drowning out the music.
Renee Davis, 52, of Magnolia, said she was moved by the ceremony.
“My heart goes out to her little boy and the family,” said Davis, who is no relation to the slain woman. “I can’t get it out of my mind. It’s something that’s going to impact people for a long time.”
Many at the vigil did not know the family but wanted to show their support. Some had participated in the search for Davis last week, including Andrew Byler, 22, of Hartville.
“It’s hard to imagine what the family is going through right now,” he said.
As the vigil ended, the overcast sky cleared slightly for a spectacular orange sunset.
Davis’ funeral was scheduled for today.