The balloons rose slowly, almost hesitantly, into the fading light of a pleasant summer evening.
Orange, pink, and polka dot, the balloons soared skyward in memory of a woman who relatives say had a voice like an angel and her young daughter, who shared her joy-filled spirit. The candlelight vigil Friday night on the north side of Newton was a way for friends and far-flung family members to remember Alyssa Runyon, 24, and her daughter, 4-year-old Zaylynn Paz.
More than 100 people gathered north of the duplex where Alyssa and Zaylynn were killed earlier this week. They wore orange and pink ribbons, the names of mother and child written on them.
Earlier in the day, the man accused of killing them — Keith Lane Hawkins — arrived back in Harvey County and learned he had been charged with capital murder and two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of the mother and child. He had fled to Texas Tuesday, before being caught at a family member’s house.
There was much they would like to say about what happened, relatives of the victims said Friday night, but now is not the time. Instead, it was a time to remember — and to mourn.