Prayer And Candlelight Vigil Held For Missing Family - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Prayer and candlelight vigil held for missing family

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There were prayers, and tears as ministers prayed for a miracle. There were prayers, and tears as ministers prayed for a miracle.
Atira Smith-Hughes family says they don't want to speculate on what may have happened. Atira Smith-Hughes family says they don't want to speculate on what may have happened.
BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Hundreds of people gathered Monday night at Trinity United Methodist Church in Brandon.  Many are relatives of 30-year-old Atira Hughes-Smith and her 7 year old son Jaidon Hill who are missing along with her husband, 34-year-old LaTerry Smith.

There were prayers, and tears as ministers prayed for a miracle.  The couple married in March and family members tell us they don't know much about LaTerry Smith. A neighbor of Smith's family says he was a heavy drinker and could be violent.

This is the house at 825 Combs Street that police searched Monday afternoon. It is where LaTerry Smith's mother and sisters lived according to neighbors who also tell us they quickly moved out sometime Monday.   The neighbor says they saw first hand Smith's violent behavior.

"The man that lived here he did run over his wife like in mid October or at the end of October", LaKendra Slaughter told us.

Atira Smith-Hughes family says they don't want to speculate on what may have happened. She grew up in Trinity United Methodist Church. Her son Jaidon sang in the choir here. Supporters, friends, and relatives say they are praying for a miracle.

"Tonight I actually lit the candles for the service and that's something that Jaidon would normally do here on Sunday mornings", said Vinson Jenkins, a cousin.

Family members say they last heard from Atira Hughes-Smith Friday by phone when she said she was going out of town for a couple of days and the connection ended abruptly.   The Jackson woman's family says Copiah County deputies told them there had been an accident on Shelby Road, just off Highway 18.   The SUV was set on fire.

"All we know is there was an accident, the vehicle was found but no individuals were in those vehicles", Jenkins said.

Even more disturbing for the family, a woman found the ID of Atira Hughes-Smith in a dumpster at a Shell Station on Raymond Road in Jackson. She notified police who  located other items including bloody clothing.

Jenkins told us the mother of Atira Hughes-Smith is exhausted but hopeful her daughter and grandson are safe.

"She's doing the things a mother, a good mother would do.   She's asking the right questions, she's praying prayers, and she's asking for help", said Jenkins.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation. Members of Trinity say this is one of the hardest things they have gone through, but they are a very close knit community and will continue to support this family.

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