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      Neighbors hold emotional vigil for murdered Sherrill child

      Local residents gather for the vigil Tuesday evening / photo: Alex Dunbar

      Shaken-up neighbors came together Tuesday night in Sherrill to remember a little girl who was stabbed to death, allegedly by her mother's boyfriend.

      After word went out on Facebook, dozens of neighbors, friends and total strangers came together to remember six-year-old Lauren Belius, and to support those who knew her.

      "I would want support if it was my child. I couldn't imagine going through this. I get cold chills just talking about it. I don't know how someone could do this and I just feel everybody from all the communities needs to come together and show support," said Jennifer Mudge, who helped organize the vigil.

      As candles were lit, a neighbor of the Belius family led the crowd in a brief prayer.

      The mostly solemn vigil had plenty of tears and hugs as people talked about the grief that has overwhelmed the tight-knit Sherrill community. As people tried to understand how Lauren died, some said the accusations against David Trebilcock frightened them.

      "Even me as a single mom - you think you know somebody and you let them in your home and do that to your child is absolutely wrong. you don't know it could happen to anybody," said Shanna Perry.

      As difficult as it is for adults to understand the accusations, many said it will be harder to explain them to Lauren's classmates. Several children came to the vigil. Some had flowers to remember their young friend who loved to laugh and donated her hair to locks of love.

      "I couldn't imagine anybody touching my child - let alone any other child and hurting them. It breaks my heart to know something like this has happened. It's horrible," said Jennifer Mudge.

      Counseling will be available at McAllister Elementary School in Sherrill on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.