Community Rallies Against Abuse After Recent Murder

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By Allison Brown

ELYRIA, Ohio -- People remembered a mother of three and a loving daughter Sunday night.

Dozens gathered in downtown Elyria to pay tribute to Lauren Moore, 26, who was found dead in her Washington Avenue apartment on Thursday.

Moore's live-in boyfriend, Vernon Shallenberger, 27, has been arrested and charged with one count of murder in her death.

In light of the tragedy and arrest, the vigil was put on by the Purple Lotus Project, a non-profit organization that aims to help anyone who has been abused.

"This is happening all of the time," said Geri Cahill-Miller, who organized the event. "One in four women are going to go through this at some point in their lives. Maybe not this extreme, but it will happen."

Family, friends and complete strangers showed their love for Moore. They lit 26 candles to symbolize the years she lived. Also many wore purple as a symbol to fight against domestic violence.

"We're going to miss her dearly, we are," said Amber Slone, a friend of Moore's.

"Lauren was the funniest, wittiest, most outgoing, kindest person I know, and she just loved everybody," said Becky Perkins, who grew up with the victim.

At the gathering, there were also many tears and hugs. Moore's family also attended and tried to stay strong as they remembered their daughter and sister.

"I will remember her when she was laughing and happy," said Becky Moore, who is Lauren's mother.

Sister, Heather Van Luit, tells Fox 8 she can't even think about how her loved one died. It's too painful.

"If I let it in, it's like little bits come in, and it literally just sucks the wind out of me when I think of it, so I'm trying not to think of it," she said.

Shallenberger is being held at the Lorain County Jail.

Moore leaves behind two young daughters and a son.

For extended coverage on this story, click here.

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