Memorial for victim on eve of Bolin's execution

- Family and friends of Stephanie Collins, one of Oscar Ray Bolin's victims, gathered for a memorial service on the eve of Bolin's execution.

"She would always smile and it would cheer up the whole room," said friend Greg Fisher. "No matter what."

Collins' friends and family sat underneath screens at the O'Brien's Irish Pub showing pictures of her bright life.

FOX 13's Evan Axelbank asked Stephanie's brother what he thought his sister would be like if she were still alive.

"I'm sure she would have gone to college," Stephanie's brother, Mike Collins said. "I'm sure she would have found an excellent career. I'm sure she would have met a really nice guy and eventually got married and had two or three kids."

Erika Gomez was Collins' best friend, and says the closure her killer's death will bring can only go so far.

"He has had a life, no matter how limited that life was," said Gomez. "My girlfriend's life was ended; she didn't have the opportunity to marry like he did."

Unlike Collins' immediate family, Gomez will not travel to Starke on Thursday.

"Most of us have dealt with this and just lived with it for the past 29 years," she said. "It's not going to change all that much, except for the fact that my friend can now rest in peace."

Collins ended the memorial with a toast.

"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and my family's heart, for never forgetting," he said.

Around 20 of Collins' family and friends will be in Starke for the execution on Thursday, January 7.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Memorial for victim on eve of Bolin's execution
  • Neighbor is 'person of interest' in Bradenton woman's death
  • Dozens arrested in Polk County online sex sting
  • Port Richey fire chief, wife arrested
  • Overnight rains leave flooding; hint at cooler weather
  • Veteran Hernando firefighter remembered
  • FWC: Video of shark dragged behind boat taken in Hillsborough Co.
  • Child beats back creepy clown with selfie stick
  • Manatee deputies wrangle snake at apartment complex
  • Recent Tampa murders likely related -- but how?