Vigil held in West Memphis for missing teen found dead

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:30 PM CDT
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WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - A grieving community came together Wednesday to honor 18-year-old Fredarrius Wilson, the West Memphis teen who was found shot to death in Holly Springs National Forest exactly one week ago.

Friends, family, and faculty at Academies of West Memphis High School gathered to honor the 18-year-old senior gone too soon.

“It hurts to have to do this for him right now because like I said, I never knew that I would lose a classmate, a close friend, so early, it hurts,” said Aniya Vornes, Wilson’s close friend.

(Action News 5)

During the candlelight vigil, classmates and loved ones signed a bulletin board to leave their thoughts. Some students and staff even shared their memories of Wilson.

Wilson’s mother, Shirley Howell, attended Wednesday’s vigil and said her son had dreams to be an architect but was robbed of that.

“I built the rest of my days around his future, and they just took it just like that,” Howell said.

As the grieving community copes with the unimaginable tragedy, Wilson’s classmates said his memory will forever live on.

“We have a saying here at the academies of West Memphis: Once a Blue Devil, always a Blue Devil, and that young man will eternally be a Blue Devil,” said a school faculty member.

The investigation into Wilson’s murder remains ongoing with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Howell said funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.

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