Candlelight vigil held for missing woman

By Nikki

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C (WCIV)--A vigil planned for Dara Watson instead became more of a candlelight service Friday night, as friends and strangers came together at Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant to celebrate the young woman's life.

One by one, candles were lit in honor of Watson with several friends in attendance.

"She really touched me," said Tricai Hughey, who was one Watson's private yoga instructor. "She was such a great spirit. I loved her."

"I just send my love to her and her family," said an old high school friend in attendance.

Outnumbered by those who knew her personally, were also strangers like Justin LaPoint of Mount Pleasant who says Dara's disappearance has become the talk of the town.

"We pretty much want to know the truth on what happened and the whole story leading up to this," said LaPoint.

Robert Sebestyen says his business had just recently finished tailoring a pair of Watson's jeans.

"She's definitely one of those people that would be easy to be friends with," said Sebestyen. "If her mom or the sister want to have the pair of jeans obviously, we don't want to charge for them but they might have an emotional value to them."

Leading the service and there to provide words of hope and encouragement was Chaplain Dennis McGowan.

"When something like this happens, it kinds of makes you stop and think--what's going on around me? What's going on in people's lives next door to me and what I am suspect to?" said McGowan.

As Friday's event came to a close, nearly three dozen white balloons were released to symbolize hope that Dara and her family might find peace through darkness.

"We're praying for you and for Dara and our love, our heart goes out to you," said Sebestyen.

The vigil was organized by Kimberly Kite, a former Eutawville police officer and mother of two. She says she didn't know Dara personally but felt compelled to help.