Katie Socci's Uncle: "I will never smile the same"

Katie Socci

Thursday night, a packed Auburn church prayed for 29-year-old Katie Cocci just a few hours after we learned for certain the young mother was murdered.

"She was just fantastic, it seems like such a drastic thing," said Grandmother Mary Colvin.

The emotion at the remembrance service was too much at times for family and friends. "It's hard it hasn't sunk in yet in terms of what we have lost," said Katie's Grandfather Bob Colvin. "She was a great lady, nurse and a great granddaughter"

"She was just so special. Always someone to lean on," said cousin Rebecca Cooper as she choked back tears.

Thursday, family and friends were leaning on each other for support. About a hundred people were in the First Presbyterian Church praying for peace and an end to senseless violence. As the whole community now trys to come to grips with the tragedy.

"It just doesn't happen to a nice young girl from Auburn. Total disbelief. It doesn't happen here it doesn't happen to people you know," said family friend Betty Sprague. "I've known Katie since she was a little girl and I just want to support a wonderful family who is going through a terrible time."

Katie was a nurse at Upstate and also a loving mother to 18-month-old daughter. Her family is now caring for that baby girl, while the child's father remains in police custody. Investigators are calling him the prime suspect in Katie's death.

"This isn't the way it's supposed to be," said Katie's Uncle Don Colvin. "Katie as she was growing up became more than a niece, she was my friend. I will miss her forever. I will never smile the same."

Friends are organizing a vigil this Saturday at 8 PM at the St. Francis Church Shrine at 300 Clark Street in Auburn.

Family members tell us funeral services are being planned for Monday.

Original story from Thursday afternoon:

People who knew Katie Socci are sharing their memories of her.

Socci disappeared earlier this week, and police later found her body in a wooded area off of Dunning Avenue in Auburn.

Thursday evening, a prayer gathering was held at First Presbyterian Church of Auburn as a tribute to Katie. Pastor Eileen Winter says Katie didn't attend the church, but she lived just a few blocks away. She said she wanted to do something to help the people who were close to Katie.

"Everyone seems to have known her," says Winter. "She was a delightful, strong young woman, who loved her daughter tremendously. Good neighbor, good friend."

Katie worked as a nurse at University Hospital in Syracuse. Her coworkers released a statement Thursday.

"The staff of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Upstate University Hospital wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the family of Katie Socci," it said. "Katie was a treasured member of our Surgical Intensive Care Unit family, and we are devastated by her death. She brought so much sunshine to our unit, and our hearts and prayers are with her family at this sorrowful time. We love her and miss her, and will always remember Katie as a true friend and dedicated nurse."

Multiple Facebook pages have been set up in Katie's honor. Alexandra Supriya Gardner set up one of the pages and turned control over to Socci's family.

"I created the page as a tribute to Katie Socci, so that family and friends can come together to share their stories and fond memories of Katie," says Gardner.