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Community Remembers Woman Whose Body Found Along Roadway

Reported: Jan. 25, 2014 11:02 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 26, 2014 4:01 AM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Fallon Pierson) -- Friends and family members gathered in Guyandotte for a prayer walk and vigil for a woman found along a roadway earlier this month.

The community came out to remember Diane Bess, 21, who was reported missing on Christmas Eve after she went shopping.

Her body was discovered along Route 10 near Salt Rock earlier this month.

Police believe Bess was murdered, but have no leads in the case.

"I always tell her I love her when she walks out the door,” Melissa Zikora, Bess’ mother, said. “’I love you. I'll see you later.’ "

Those were the last words Zikora said to her daughter, as she left their apartment in Guyandotte to go shopping on Christmas Eve. It was the last time she ever saw her.

Tears threaten to run as she described her daughter as one-of-a-kind.

"Let me say that Diane was the type of person that would touch people just by her presence alone,” Zikora said. “She just had an aura, a presence about her that everybody loved. She didn't have a special talent. Her special talent was just her."

Members of the community came together for a vigil at the VFW in Guyandotte. They marched down Main Street to where Bess lived. A bouquet was presented to her mother, and layed at their doorstep.

Town Councilman Richard Simmons said supporting each other is a way of life in Guyandotte.

"We've lost one of our own,” Simmons said. “What goes through my head is we have to get together, community unity, and show support for this young lady who died needlessly."

David Kitchen, the pastor who presided over the service, also lost a child 12 years ago. He said that time eases the pain, but the support of friends and family is the most important thing.

"They're the pillars that hold you up, that help you get through this,” he said. “Through their faith, through friends, and through God, you can get through anything."

A fundraiser to help Bess' family pay for funeral expenses is set for next Saturday at New Birth Church in Barboursville at 7 p.m.

Anyone who would like to help can contribute to fund set up at Chase Bank under Bess' name.



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