HOPE MILLS, N.C. -
Hundreds of friends and fellow classmates of Danielle Locklear gathered Thursday morning at South View High School to remember the murdered 15-year-old from Hope Mills.
About 400 people gathered at the school's flagpole at 8 a.m. for a prayer vigil.
"When she went missing a lot of people were talking negative about it, and I was just surprised that we actually did something and that the school came together as one body, and I was really happy about it," said Locklear's friend Brooke Redd who attended the vigil.
A campus-based Christian faith ministry called RUSH (Reaching the Unreached Student Harvest) organized the vigil. There were prayers for Locklear’s family and friends, and the school and larger community. Some students also talked about their favorite memories of Locklear, including her cheerful and bubbly personality.
“This was South View in faith putting in some action and expecting there would be some change, not just for the internal beings of people but also this community,” explained RUSH campus leader Christopher Hale.
Locklear disappeared on March 11. Authorities found her body in the South River late last week.
Locklear’s former boyfriend, 17-year-old Je’Michael Malloy, admitted to choking her to death after the two got into a fight. Malloy is charged with second-degree murder in Locklear’s death.
Malloy was still in jail Thursday afternoon, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
A second suspect, 18-year-old Dominic Lock, is also charged with second-degree murder in the girl’s death. Police said Lock and Malloy tied cinder blocks to Locklear’s body and dumped her into the South River.
Lock was released from jail on a secured bond Wednesday, the sheriffs office said.
Grief counselors have been on hand at South View High School to help her friends cope with the news.