Although black ribbon has replaced the police tape that stayed up nearly three years, those that gathered in Robin Reeves' yard Friday night all knew its purpose.
Friends and family of Ms. Reeves, who was murdered in her Gordon Street home on Feb. 27, 2001, held a candlelight vigil on the third anniversary of her death. The yard, still surrounded by ribbon, stood as a constant reminder of Ms. Reeves' life and the fact that her killer is still on the loose.
Organizers of the event hope that the attention it gets will bring awareness back to the case so that someone will volunteer information and eventually give Ms. Reeves' family resolution.
"It has been 1,095 days since Robin was taken from us," said Jim Wallace, one of the speakers at the vigil. "1,095 days and we have missed the daughter, mother, friend and community member as if it were yesterday. And to me that is what this service is about, to make it as if it was yesterday, to encourage law enforcement to continue working like it was yesterday, to pressure the person or persons responsible for the heinous death of Robin like it was yesterday."
About 85 people gathered to listen to several songs and speakers during the vigil. Everyone present participated in the event by holding a candle in memory of Ms. Reeves.
Those present also heard from Ms. Reeves' former pastor. Rev. Erwin Veale, was the pastor of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Thomson at the time of Ms. Reeves' death.
"The messages that were given by the two gentlemen...were very touching," said Ms. Reeves' mother Faye. "They were just a good reminder of the importance of justice."
Father Veale said he was still filled with grief for Ms. Reeves' two children, Hanna and Joseph, and for her mother.
"Like many of you, there's a part of me that desires vengeance," he said, adding that vengeance belongs to the Lord. "But we can't hold on to it. It will destroy us."
After sharing stories from Ms. Reeves' life, Father Veale encouraged those in attendance to pray for justice. On the night Ms. Reeves was killed, she had been to the traditional Shrove Tuesday pancake supper at Holy Cross.
"In the last hours of her life, she was with the family of God," Father Veale said. "May Robin's precious, laughing soul and all the dear departed forever rest in peace."
During his speech, Mr. Wallace speculated as to what Ms. Reeves might say if she was able to make a statement at the event to all those still mourning her.
"If she was able to talk to us, she might say, 'Think of me and smile. I was there, but now I am safe in the arms of the Jesus, and no criminal or pain can harm me now,'" Mr. Wallace said. "'I know you miss me, and I miss you, but let time heal. Let the pain be replaced by the smile I showed you.'"
After three years with no one charged in the murder of Ms. Reeves, her mother still holds out hope that someone will eventually be caught.
"I will never ever give up hope," she said. "I do know that the authorities have leads. I know that they're investigated, and I just have to keep hope and pray that someone is going to call and give us the information one day to find who these people are."
Faye Reeves was also quick to thank everyone who participated in the service and has helped in the overall effort. That list includes Barbara Arnold, Patricia Kennedy, Brenton Widener, Mr. Wallace, Rev. Veale, Spalding Neville, Ken Roland, Jill Brooks, Richards' Flowers and Gifts, Luckey Printing, B and J Cabinets, Curtis Funeral Home, all of the media outlets that covered the event, Jimmy Plunkett and the event organizer Mike Love.