One Year Later, Family Of Keiosha Felix Marks Anniversary With Candlelight Vigil
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- About 30 family and friends of Keiosha Felix gathered underneath a pavilion at Girard Park Tuesday evening, marking by a candlelight vigil the one year anniversary of the 16-year-old teen's disappearance.
Though afternoon rains turned the park into mud in some areas, it certainly did not damper the spirits of those who were able to attend the vigil.
But organizers made it clear that now, more than ever, did they need the help and support of the community, calling on residents to call police with any tips, even if thought to be unimportant.
"We're keeping the hope alive," said Lena Lewis, Felix's aunt. "We are not giving up."
The lack of new information is "frustrating," Lewis said, acknowledging, though, that police are doing everything they can to find her.
"All we have left at this point is hope," said Tammy Charles, who helped organize the vigil. "We're just gonna keep pressing on it, and keep hoping and believing, keep sharing her fire, keep passing her information on, get her face and her name out there...and hope that eventually that somebody comes forward."
The 30-minute vigil featured prayer, poetry, and gospel music, and emotions were certainly on display. Felix's grandmother was in obvious grief, holding a hand to her face, wiping away the tears.
After the candles were lit, the group gathered around in a circle. Lewis shared her conviction that the investigation into Felix's disappearance was about to break wide open. Lewis ascribed the sudden chills she got Tuesday as a "sign from the Lord that she's about to come home."
"I know it in my heart," Lewis said. "Last week I was just calling everybody's name in the house, and everybody's name I was trying to call, I was calling them 'Red' because that's what we call [Felix] as a nickname. Every name that came out my mouth was 'Red.' I'm like, 'This has to mean something.' That's signs from the Lord. That's how I feel. I have my faith, and I believe."
Probably the most poignant moment, though, came at the end of the vigil. A handful of children released red and white balloons into the air to remember Felix; the red balloons represented Felix, while the white balloons represented peace.
One year later, investigators are not much closer to solving Felix's mysterious disappearance, but they do believe she is still alive. Her family, including her baby, pray day and night for her return.
"We love her so much," Lewis said. "We're not giving up on you. We just want you to come home."