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Ashtabula residents hold vigil to remember, pray for 13-year-old girl

ASHTABULA, Ohio -- Ashtabula residents come together to remember and pray for a young girl believed to be found murdered in a wooded area off Austinburg Road.

Dozens of people gathered for the candlelight vigil held in front of St. Joseph Church on Lake Ave. Friday night, including friends of the girl who cried and hugged each other. They told FOX 8 the teen was really funny and had a great sense of humor.

The superintendent said the 13-year-old wanted to be a veterinarian.

Kathy Pallaise with the charity “InVESTing in K9 Officers” helped organize the service.  “It’s very upsetting,” said Kathy, “I mean it’s a 13-year-old girl that lost her life for no reason.”

The coroner’s office has not yet officially identified the body recovered Thursday, but Ashtabula Police Chief Robert Stell says they think she’s the teenager who was reported missing by her parents earlier that same day.

“She had left with a family friend late Tuesday, with permission and was never returned,”  said Chief Stell.

John Bove was arrested after a short chase in Sharon, PA.

Police say the girls parents didn’t know that the 46-year-old is a registered sex offender.

Anyone in the community who would like counseling can go to Lakeside Junior High on Sanborn Road Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Continuing coverage, here.