BLACKSBURG, Va. – Family and friends of Serenity Hawley were supposed to celebrate her birthday on Thursday but instead are mourning a life taken too soon.
Hawley was one of two teenagers found dead in a Blacksburg parking garage on Tuesday. Her family told 10 News it was a murder-suicide.
[READ MORE: ‘To know she is gone is just unreal’: Parents of victim in Blacksburg apparent murder-suicide speak out]
Just days after the tragedy, memorials were set up outside the parking garage and at Your Pie Pizza, where Serenity worked.
Serenity’s family said the teenager loved to work. Trinity, Serenity’s sister, organized the community to come together and create the memorial.
“She truly was the life of the party. That’s the best way to describe her, you walked in and it was like ‘Oh my gosh … Serenity’s here,” Hawley said.
Serenity wasn’t just a sister to Trinity, she was a best friend. Trinity won’t forget even the smallest of things.
“She loved Diet Coke ... she did. She loved Diet Coke and Hawian rolls and she loved Taylor Swift and Noah Kahan,” Hawley said.
Serenity’s father and stepmother are trying to turn pain into purpose. They plan to set up scholarships and spread messages of hope to those struggling with domestic abuse.
“If we can do something through her passing to help someone else escape this kind of torment, then that’s what we want to do,” Hawley said.
The community is continuing their support with a vigil on Saturday at Blacksburg High School at 5 p.m.
“It’s always going to feel like a part of us is missing ... a part of my family will always be ... like a huge whole,” Trinity Hawley said. “I know she is in heaven right now smiling down seeing all these people that love her.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in support of the Hawley family. If you would like to donate, click here.
If you or someone you know needs help with domestic violence or feelings of grief, click here to see more resources.