BLACKSBURG (WSLS) - The Blacksburg community and the Virginia Tech community gathered to remember the life of Nicole Lovell. A candlelight vigil was held on College Avenue on Monday. The 13-year-old went missing late last month. A few days later, her body was found in North Carolina. Two Virginia Tech students remain in jail in connection to her death.
Organizers of the vigil said they wanted to bring the community together to honor nicole and try to cope with this tragedy. Hundreds united in downtown Blacksburg, on a cold and snowy night, for a candlelight vigil. Friends said they miss the warm-hearted girl who brightened their day.
"She was kind and sweet hearted, she was loving and would care about her friends," said Natalie Cole, Nicole's friend.
The 13 year old's friends, family members along with Virginia Tech students and others in the community lit candles, sang a song and shared encouraging words.
"We'll be always praying for the family and they will always be in our thoughts," said Libbi Hill, attended vigil.
Members of Help Save the Next Girl (HSTNG), a non-profit group that helps raise awareness about safety, made a tribute to Nicole. It's a custom-made painting with the color blue, a panda and music which were some of Nicole's favorite things.
"I can't imagine the pain her family and friends are going through right now" said Erica Grant, HSTNG. "It's important to show that Virginia Tech students care and the community cares."
Through signs of love and support, a sea of broken hearts hoped to come together as one and heal.
"To see so many people here for Nicole's family and to say we are here for you, that was amazing," said Claire Kelling, event organizer.