Funeral planned for Jackson County murder victim - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Funeral planned for Jackson County murder victim

Amanda's funeral is open to all those who would like to attend. (Photo source: WLOX) Amanda's funeral is open to all those who would like to attend. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

More than two months after her body was found behind a Jackson County Church, Amanda Hicks will be laid to rest on Saturday.  

Rev. Darlene Carroll is helping organize the funeral because she wants her friend to remembered for the life she lived, not how she died. 

"If you knew Amanda Hicks your life was richer, you were blessed from knowing her," Carroll said.  

Amanda went missing in February, her body was found weeks later. She leaves behind a pair of sons, who Carroll had in mind while helping organize their mother's funeral. 

"It just hurts me so bad that he can't goodbye to his mom, he can't look at her face again and say goodbye. I can't imagine," Carroll said. 

Amanda's boyfriend Josh Vanlaningham is awaiting trial and facing murder charges in her death. Carroll says Amanda was the victim of domestic abuse. To help pay for the funeral expenses she sold purple ribbons in memory of domestic violence victims.

Carroll hopes Amanda's story will be a lesson for others. 

"If you're in an abusive relationship physically, mentally, emotionally, someone even speaking to you in a manner that's not appropriate then leave," said Carroll. 

Carroll misses her friend, but she's comforted in a story Amanda, who was a hospice worker once told her after losing a patient she was caring for. 

"She said that the client had told her that 'I see him, I see Jesus.' Amanda said that she had told the client run to him, run and catch him, grab on to him. When this happened I thought of that and maybe that lady met her at the gate when Amanda went home to be with Jesus, maybe the lady was standing there and I'm sure she was."

The funeral for Amanda Hicks is scheduled for Saturday at the Bradford - O'Keeffe Funeral Home at 3 p.m., with visitation starting at 2 p.m. Anyone who would like to show support for the family is invited. 

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