Alaskans around the state held candelight vigils in memory of Kake teenager MacKenzie Howard Friday night. State Troopers are investigating the 13-year-old’s death as a homicide. Her body was discovered at a Kake church by a community member late last Tuesday night. The State Medical Examiner’s Office completed an autopsy Friday.
At the Petersburg vigil, Salvation Army Lt. Caleb Fankhauser said the tragedy had affected people far beyond Southeast:
“As we’ve been preparing for this evening, we’ve been looking and following along on different peoples post on the internet and elsewhere and this evening there are groups just like this meeting not only across the state of Alaska but even into the lower-48. There are family members and friends and just people who felt touched by this event. Whether they even had any relationship or connection to the family, their hearts were broken over this loss. So as we’ve light candles here tonight, there are candles being lit, essentially, around the world.”
Fankhauser and other participants offered prayers for MacKenzie Howard’s family and the community of Kake. You can listen to the entire Petersburg vigil here.