‘To know she is gone is just unreal’: Parents of victim in Blacksburg apparent murder-suicide speak out

Serenity Hawley was just days away from her 18th birthday

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Blacksburg community is mourning after two high school students were found dead in a parking garage.

The family of one of the victims told 10 News it was a murder-suicide.

[READ MORE: Two found dead in parking garage identified as two Blacksburg High School students]

They said their daughter, Serenity Hawley was shot in the chest by her ex-boyfriend, Croney Monk before he killed himself.

Outside of the parking garage on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the incident, flowers and candles were piling up as a part of a makeshift memorial.

Community members gathered together to remember a life taken too soon. (WSLS 10)

“She was a great kid. I mean I couldn’t have asked for a better child,” said Serenity’s Dad, John Hawley.

Serenity had just been accepted into Virginia Tech and was just days away from turning 18.

“She was just very vivacious. She was just larger than life. And to know that she is gone is just unreal,” said Serenity’s Mom, Heather Waldron.

Blacksburg Police said both of the teens were students at Blacksburg High School.

Serenity’s parents said she was an excellent student and involved in several after-school programs.

“At school, she got into DECA and Younglife,” said Hawley.

Serenity’s Mom said she learned about an incident between her daughter and Croney about a month ago from the school.

According to Waldron, the school had issued a no-contact order for the two teens, and she tried encouraging her daughter to get a restraining order but never thought this would happen.

“The biggest thing is to watch for red flags. Don’t ignore or think that this wouldn’t happen to your daughter because I would never in a million years thought this would happen to my daughter,” said Waldron.

The Hawleys and Waldons are still working on making funeral arrangements.

A GoFundMe page has been set up in support of the Hawley family. If you would like to donate, click here.

Resources for children and young adults dealing with feelings of grief can be found below:

• Addressing Grief - https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/mental-health-resources/addressing-grief?fbclid=IwAR1TEJVvEDjJ1d8WZ6OLfLdl8NBNCjUQ1IEQR1w9l6QFLyhU4orUKwSMQX8

• Helping Teens with Grief - http://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdfs/helping_teens_with_traumatic_grief_caregivers_final.pdf

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.