SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Earlier this week, a man snatched Hailey Owens from outside her Springfield home, her murdered body found hours later.
Saturday night thousands gathered to remember the ten-year-old girl who loved the colors pink and purple.
The march was so crowded that it took more than an hour to walk a few blocks, and many laid flowers and candles down at the end of the march, around a light pole.
The crowd gathered early, lining commercial street, candles lit, arm in arm, and wearing pink or purple.
April Huntley also has a 10-year-old daughter, brown hair, and brown eyes just like Hailey Owens.
“It`s amazing. It`s amazing. Our community has pulled together for this little girl, and she will live on,” said Huntley. “It just you know it hit home and I would want someone to do this for me if it was my daughter.”
So she like thousands of others showed up for Hailey Owens’ family.
To the shouts of their supporters, Hailey’s family walked slowly down Commercial Street, their way lit by candles and glow sticks. They silently wept, clearly touched.
The shouting sometimes turned to singing. Thousands of voices singing together, voices of people who couldn`t imagine going through what Haley’s mother is going through right now.
“Hold your kids tight. Tell them every day and night how much you love them and how much you cherish them. Don`t ever give that away,” said Huntley.
The march was a bittersweet walk of solidarity and sorrow, and a reminder that life is precious and sometimes too short.
The city of Springfield continued to leave a light on for Hailey. This foot bridge was lit in purple on Saturday night in honor of Hailey.
Craig Wood, the man accused of kidnapping and killing Hailey Owens, will be back in court next month.