Hundreds gathered at the vacant Dallas home Monday evening where the bodies of 13-year-old Shavon Randle and 19-year-old Michael Titus were discovered over the weekend, bringing a tragic end to a desperate search for the young girl.
Shavon Randle's mother, Shaquna Randle, spoke publicly for the first time since her daughter's death, visibly shaken while looking at the home where her body was discovered.
"If y'all have kids, cherish them," Randle said. "Hold them and don't let them go, y'all. Don't let them go."
The boarded-up house is surrounded by brightly colored balloons, flowers and stuffed animals as the memorial grows.
One cousin spoke at Monday's vigil and said she had just surprised Shavon with a cell phone last week. Arrest warrant affidavits show that police tracked Shavon's phone until it was turned off, linking it to two people currently in custody.
Shavon had been living with her aunt in Lancaster, about 16 miles south of Dallas, at the time she was kidnapped, apparently taken as ransom for a drug dispute a family member was involved in but that Shavon had nothing to do with.
Her mother thanked those gathered – and those who couldn't make it.
"Thank you all for the love, the support and the prayers. I need all of that," Randle said. "She meant a lot to this family. She was like that piece."
One of Shavon's teachers, Crystal Spain, said the little girl was known for her "puffy little ponytail." Their last conversation was about how excited Shavon was to go into seventh grade this fall.
"She just wanted to live another day. Just wanted to live another day, and she can't because of some foolish people," Spain said. "It hurts. And I hurt for her mother. I hurt for everybody in the community. I hurt for all of them because if you don't feel something out of this, something is wrong with you."
The vigil and march were organized by the Next Generation Action Network.