PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A candlelight vigil was held in Sunday night in honor of Pascagoula native Jessie Bardwell. The 27-year-old woman was reported missing last week and is presumed dead in Texas.
Hundreds gathered at Beach Park Pier to talk about Bardwell. The event was organized by her friends.
As music played, tears were shed. Hugs were given and received.
Despite overwhelmingly grim news, many at the vigil remained hopeful. They said this was not a memorial, but rather a ceremony in her honor.
"I know Jesse is a fun loving, sweet girl. Never, ever has a frown on her face. She is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet," said Kristin Pugh, one of Bardwell's friends.
Even though Bardwell's body has not been found, her boyfriend, Jason Lowe, is charged with her murder.
Police in Richardson, Texas said Lowe is no longer cooperating with their investigation. He was first arrested on drug charges, after police say they found narcotics at his apartment.
After being taken into custody, Lowe was questioned further, and that's what led to the murder charge.
"It's just frustrating," said Jessie's brother Brandon Bardwell. "I just want Jessie back. That's all I can say. She didn't have a mean bone in her body."
Jessie Bardwell moved to Texas in December of last year. Her parents made the trip to Richardson last week to report her missing.
There will be a prayer service Monday at 12:05 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church in Pascagoula.