Family, friends hold candlelight vigil for murdered Fort Collins woman

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Family and friends of Kimberlee Graves gathered at a park Friday night to light candles and swap stories about her life and the impact she had on people.

Kimberlee Graves was first reported missing in early December. A friend found her home ransacked and Fort Collins police started investigating. Earlier this month, an employee at a state park 20 miles from her home discovered her body. Fort Collins police announced Thursday investigators arrested Khalid White, an acquaintance of Graves, in connection with her death.

At a park on Friday, more than a dozen people took turns at the microphone, sharing their favorite memories of Graves.

"I had cancer and she came over to my house and she just started cleaning and bringing organic food and oils and tinctures," said one friend. "She was a force and a light that I could barely keep up with but I’m so grateful to have known her and her family."

"The first time I saw her, I was like, who is this blond girl? She looked like Farrah Fawcett," said another friend. "She had this big smile and she was so happy."

Graves' sister, Samantha Kyle, said she knew her sister had an impact on people but hearing all the diverse stories of the way Graves' touched people's lives was comforting.

"I know this whole community loved her very much," said Kyle.

Graves' mother, E.C. Waller, said Graves' disappearance and murder has been a nightmare.

"Wish you never had it happen to you. And wish we hadn't had it happen to us," said Waller. "There aren’t words I can say now of the emotions we’ve been going through."

Waller said  above all else, her daughter would want to be remembered as a devoted mother to her two children.

"She loved them very very much and she was a great mother. And a great daughter. And she will be missed," said Waller.

Waller said she's thankful for the swift work of Fort Collins police in arresting the perpetrator. Kyle said it's time her sister's killer is brought to justice.

"It does bring me a little peace to know the person that hurt her is being held responsible," said Kyle.

White is facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased human body, sexual assault and identity theft.




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