Vigil held for slain Michiana mother

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Reflecting on the tragic death of Elkhart County mother Alexis Morales —residents gathered to pray in the same spot she and her five-month-old baby Messiah were discovered by police.

“It’s just tragic. It’s just terrible. It’s really 2 families that are devastated. The perpetrators is just as bad as the person who’s died," said Tina Velthuizen, a South Bend resident.

Although peaceful — just several weeks ago this exact street was full of police vehicles — shocking neighbors who were hoping the mother would come home safely.

“As a mother because I’ve lost a child myself, I felt the pain. I felt the hurt. I felt the anger and all of that and it’s like not again because every time there is another life taken some mother is mourning. I mourn along with them," said Bobbie Woods, Founder of Mamas Against Violence.

Woods started the non-profit in 2003 to provide emotional support and prayers to families after noticing an alarming uptick in homicides like Alexis’.

“South Bend has a big problem. We have a big problem and until we begin to work even harder to resolve we’re gonna see more of this," said Woods.

Alexis’ family didn’t join in the vigil, but Woods says she wants them to know the community supports them and will continue to pray for youth -- like Alexis’ son Messiah -- to have a safer future.

“The enemy is working so that means we got to work even harder to stop the violence in our community because this is our community and nobody else is gonna do it for us," said Woods.

The group hosts vigils every Thursday at 5:30 to pray for lives lost to violence.

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