It was an emotional evening as friends, family, and fellow students of Heather Harrod gathered at Rutland High School to say goodbye.
“I needed her, I still need her. I need to be able to go home and talk to her, tell her about my day, and listen to her complain about homework,” Hayley Harrod, her sister, said to the crowd at the vigil.
It was a dark night in the high school’s parking lot, candles illuminating the tear-stained faces, after an even darker day.
Loved ones came to say goodbye to 17-year-old Heather Harrod.
“Even with what happened, it'll always radiate around us, the happiness that she brought everybody. And it's shown by everybody coming here today,” said one of the students who spoke at the vigil.
Organizers let anyone who wanted to say something about Heather speak at the vigil.
James Hurley says the two have been best friends since he moved here in 8th grade and he wanted people to remember her positivity.
“She loved life and life loved her. And that no matter who you were, no matter where you came from... I came from the Bahamas I didn't know anybody in 8th grade. But, she took me in as if I'd been there my whole life. She loved me no matter what and I loved her no matter what,” Hurley said after the vigil.
It was a message others repeated. They said she could make anyone smile, she was always positive, and that she was their sunflower.
At the end of our interview we asked Hurley if he had anything else to say and he had a message for his best friend.
“Heather, if you ever see this in any kind of way, I love you and I just want you to know we all miss you. Especially, your parents. I've never seen them so hurt. And they love you as mu-- more than I do, let me stop right there, more than I do and, I miss you,” Hurley said.
Dozens of people left flowers and candles at Harrod’s parking spot.