Family and friends gather to honor life of Shaquita Smith

By Chris Robbins, Evening newscast producer, crobbins@wjxt.com
Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: May 04 2014 10:56:33 PM EDT
Updated On: May 04 2014 11:52:56 PM EDT

VIDEO: Family and friends of a Westside woman found dead in a ditch hold a vigil and pray for justice.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Family and friends gathered on the Westside Sunday night to remember and honor the life of a woman found dead in a ditch.

On Friday, police were called to the 7400 block of Ricker Road in reference to a suspicious death. The body of Shaquita Anne Smith, 29, was found in a ditch. Police believe her body was there for a few days before she was found. 

On Sunday, family members crossed the street at Park City Drive. They carried with them balloons and flowers to lay at the site where the young mother of two was found.

Police have stayed tight-lipped about the details surrounding her death. Family members say Smith had moved to Jacksonville less than a year ago from Arkansas.
Hours after Smith's family had their own vigil for her, they were joined by several residents from the neighborhood. The group held candles, wrote special notes on signs, and joined hands for a prayer. Crystal Kauffman organized it.

""I am so sorry for your loss. It touched me deeply."

Kauffman and other neighbors hope to see more lights added to the stretch of road, in honor of Smith. Smith's family members believe if there had been more lights, someone may have seen something that night.           

"By the grace of God, I pray and hope they catch you and we're going to be there. I'm going to be there from top to bottom," Dillon said.

Reginald Dillon, Smith's heartbroken uncle, fought back tears as he described the violent death of his niece.

"When I close my eyes I think about how she was submerged in the water in that ditch. Just submerged in that ditch."

"She really didn't deserve this. The family is blown to pieces about this."

Family members said Smith was reported missing after she failed to return home from a late walk. They described her as a kind, humble young woman, the kind of person who could make friends with anyone. They said her life revolved around her two little girls.

"What are you going to tell these kids? How do you tell a kid that mommy is not coming home? How do you tell a kid that? Mommy's gone," Dillon said.   

If anyone has any information about Smith's murder, they call asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.


Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus