Hundreds Mourn Teen’s Death During Prayer Vigil

Post a Comment » Written on June 7th, 2007     
Filed under: News
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (June 7, 2007) – Pastor Mark Seversen told hundreds of people gathered at Hillcrest Covenant Church for a prayer service Wednesday night that they had done all that was possible to help murdered teenager Kelsey Smith.

“You did an extraordinary thing,” he said. “You stepped in and you stood for Kelsey, and you gave your energy and your hearts, and you made a statement about how extraordinary Kelsey is and how important her life is. You . . . did not fail,” Seversen said, according to news reports of the service, which drew a large contingent of news media representatives.

The Smith family has been attending the church for several months. They asked Seversen to speak to the people of all ages during the prayer service. Every seat in the 560-seat sanctuary was taken, with an estimated 200 people standing in back of the sanctuary or in an overflow area.

“No one should have to live a day like today,” Seversen said, noting that as tragic as it is, the sad reality is that violent deaths do occur.

Kelsey, 18, who had only recently graduated from high school, was abducted from a shopping mall parking lot on Saturday evening. She had gone to a Target store to purchase a gift for her boyfriend. Hundreds of volunteers had helped search for Kelsey, whose body was found Wednesday afternoon in a park just across the state line in Missouri.

A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged today with aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in the teen’s death.

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