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UPDATE: Sheppards family wants justice

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – At a candlelight vigil in the parking lot near the alley where Barbara Sheppard was found dead, friends and family gathered Monday night to remember the 33-year-old.

“It’s just sad, I don’t like to looking back there,” Jessica Sheppard said as she pointed to the alleyway next to the Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco Store. That is where her cousin Barbara was stabbed multiple times in the neck and left for dead Thursday night.

“It just takes your breath away,” J. Sheppard said, “Why somebody would do that? And it was just so malicious.”

Barbara’s shift at the store ended at 8 p.m. on her way out, someone attacked and killed the mother of two. “This is brutality, this is a monster,” Angi Northern said of her best friend’s killer.

Northern said Barbara was a good, kind and giving person, “That’s why this is so surreal, how anyone could do this to Barbara.”

With no one in custody, Northern said everyone who knew Barbara is afraid, “It’s definitely scary, because you don’t know.”

Family members told ABC57 News on Monday, they do not know who to trust. “It could be anyone, yea it is scary,” J. Sheppard said.

Barbara Sheppard’s boyfriend and ex-husband were brought in for questioning after her death. “Everybody can draw their own suspicions,” Northern said, “It wasn’t random I think everybody realizes that.”

According to the St. Joseph County Jail Sheppard’s ex-husband Joe Wayer was arrested on Friday after her body was found for a body attachment that was issued for failure to appear in court.

Boyfriend Jason Leyba found Sheppard’s body just after 2 a.m. on Friday, later that afternoon he was arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

Both posted bond, neither have been charged with Sheppard’s murder. “Barbara is up there looking down on us and she will help lead police to her killer,” Northern said, “I do believe she knows the person who did this to her.”

At the candle light vigil the family asked for justice and prayed Sheppard’s two children will always have memory of their mother.

“I can’t fathom the thought of how her two little children are doing and how they’re feeling right now,” Northern said.

 Sheppard had two boys, Alex, the baby is just three-years-old, “They said mommy is an angel now, but he doesn’t get it, he’s too young.” J. Sheppard said. The older son, Joey is 10-years-old, “It just hit him yesterday, he broke down then,” she said.

The funeral for Barbara Sheppard will be held on Tuesday at Hanley and Sons Funeral Home in South Bend. The Sheppard family has asked people to give donations to the funeral home to help cover the cost of the services.

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