LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sharing the common ache of grief, families across West Virginia gathered for a special vigil remembering loved ones killed by crime.
Community members met Friday night at Omar Grade School, commemorating National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
All attending the vigil had a loved one taken too soon as the victim of a violent crime.
"It helps to have people around who know what you're going through so you don't feel so alone," Wanda Walls said.
Walls lost her 2-year-old grandson, Aydin Toler, last year and says the pain is still fresh. His mother's boyfriend is accused of inflicting the deadly injuries.
"I just want to wake up and see Aydin, and I can't do it," Walls said.
The Bias family helps organize the vigil every year to celebrate the memory of their daughter, Wendy, who was murdered in 2005.
"It does help to talk to other people and share your hurts and pains with them," said Wendy's mother, Helen Bias.
Dad Edmund agreed, saying the vigil is a way for extended family to remember Wendy.
"She has nieces and nephews, and we want them to know more about her," he said.
Family members wrote messages on balloons for their loved ones and released them into the air.
Representatives from the Logan County Prosecutors' Office and the Logan County Sheriff's Office also attended the vigil.