Crowd celebrates Janaya Thompson's birthday with vigil

Crowd celebrates Janaya Thompson's birthday with vigil

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A crowd gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember the story of a little girl that shook communities across the coast. Janaya Thompson was brutally murdered last year. Many remembered the tragedy that touched hearts Thursday.

"You can make our depressed days turn away. You can make our midnight turn to day," said Pastor Rashawn Bey with Outreach

A candlelight vigil held during what would have been Janaya Thompson's seventh birthday. Like many little girls Janaya loved princesses. However, she was a princess in her own right touching so many lives with the way she lived hers.

"She was so energetic and just her life in general, she lived it. So today isn't really going to be about her death.
It's really going to be about her life," said Janaya's cousin Angela Hinton.

Hinton said the vigil is also a way for her and family members to overcome the pain of Janaya's death.

"Every week, every month you're dealing with a death. Dealing with cancer. Dealing with different things. And all we can do sometimes is just pray," said Pastor Bey.

"We just want to get over it. And I know that's hard to say, but we just want to give peace to it. We want to be able to come around this way and not have that eerie feeling," said Hinton.

In the crowd those who knew the little girl personally.

"Me and her played together," said Janaya's cousin Ashia Hinton.

And those, who never got a chance.

"Remember Janaya Thompson and what she went through and all the families and all attending today," Pastor Bey told the crowd.

"I'll never see her again. I'll just never see her again. Pictures just don't do it," said Hinton.

"What I always preach about is, the worst is always behind us, but the best is yet to come," Pastor Bey said.

A jury indicted Alberto Garcia with capital murder in connection with Janaya's murder earlier this month. The district attorney expects Garcia to appear in court by early November for his arraignment.

That's when he'll go before a judge and formally hear his charge and indictment. He will also plea guilty or not guilty.

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