A community on Saturday night grieved the loss of a young mother of three who was killed in Maryland, and family members said they believe she was the victim of domestic violence.
Michelle Dudley, 33, was stabbed and killed on Jan. 14 in Laurel.
Dozens put up candles, balloons, flowers and pictures of Dudley and reminders of the light that she brought into the world at the vigil in her memory.
“[She] loved to cook, loved kids, loved animals. Just a sweet soul that just didn’t deserve this. Nobody does, but she just didn’t deserve this,” her sister, Monica Dudley, said.
Family members, friends and neighbors stopped to pay their respects.
“It just reminds me of how much she was loved, how many lives she touched. I just hope she knew how much she was loved, because it’s showing through all of this,” Monica Dudley said.
Prince George’s County police are investigating Michelle Dudley’s homicide, but have released few details.
Her family claimed she was attacked by her boyfriend, the father of her youngest child, and that he was taken from the scene with self-inflicted stab wounds.
Several of those who spoke at the vigil sent a message of support for others who may be in similar situations.
“Nobody wants to see their friend, their sister, their brother – anybody, a family member – in that situation,” Brigget Fuentes, the victim’s friend, said.
At the end of the vigil, balloons were released into the night sky.
“It gives me peace that she’s not suffering anymore, and that she’s with my mom now,” Monica Dudley said. “So that’s kind of what’s bringing me that comfort.”