Murdered teen remembered at vigil

- A week has gone by and there are still no answers for the family of Janessa Shannon.

The 13-year-old's body was found in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Riverview last Wednesday.

About 100 people gathered in Manatee County Thursday where Janessa lived with her mother. They came together to show they're standing by the family's side.

Her family and friends say their pain hasn't gotten any easier over the last week with so many unanswered questioned about Janessa’s murder.

But Thursday night in Palmetto, the focus was on showing support. The community literally wrapped their arms around Janessa’s family in their time of need - providing a small piece of comfort in the heartbreak.

Teary-eyed, but standing strong; Janessa Shannon’s mother, Michelle Mosley and sisters honored the 13-year-old whose life was taken too soon.

A candlelight vigil was organized by a community activist who says, while he didn't know Shannon’s family, their story touched his heart.

“By me having a daughter, being a single father, I felt like as a resident of Manatee County that I needed to step up and be here with this family to let them know that they're not alone,” organizer Wayne Washington said.

Family, friends, and even strangers circled the family, praying for them to find answers on who took Janessa’s life after she went missing July 1 while staying at her father's home in Riverview.

“We've all been praying and trying to hold strong together as a unit and have each other's back,” cousin Chris Hill said.

Janessa's grandfather Larry Mosley says it's still a daily struggle for him to fight the feelings of anger that took over when he found out his granddaughter was gone. He struck a wall and broke his hand when a deputy broke the news.

“I just feel bad, real real bad, you know? It's just like my hand. I broke it when I found out,” Mosley said.

But Thursday, feelings of love for the teen, and reassurance that she's in a better place, are what supporters hope to spread.

“We're going to be here to support this family and do whatever we can in this tragedy that they're facing,” Washington said.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said detectives still don't know the sequence of events leading up to Shannon’s death, but they are investigating every day.

Thursday’s event wasn't all somber. There were dancers and a meal was provided to everyone who came out.

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