Dozens gather for community vigil to honor Maliyah Godwin

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 10:00 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Dozens gathered at Majestic Oaks Apartments in Southwest Gainesville to send off 13-year-old Maliyah Godwin.

“If you know something, speak up,” said Monique Walls, a resident of the complex. Residents said Godwin spent a lot of her time in the apartment complex. Walls didn’t know Godwin well but helped coordinate the vigil meant to help the kids in the community get closure.

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“The kids out here, they loved her,” mentioned Walls. “They’re around her age so we have to display peace, respect. You know, we have to show these kids that it’s more to it than down the wrong road. We want to steer them in the right direction, that’s what we’re trying to get right now.”

As residents of Majestic Oaks took time to say their final goodbyes to Godwin, Gainesville resident, Isaiah, had a message specifically for the children of this community.

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“A young girl done died man, when are we going to get it together?”

Isaiah, who didn’t want to give his last name said his mother lives in the Majestic Oaks community which he keeps close ties too. He was among the crowd of kids and community members who came out to honor Godwin’s life.

“We gotta treat our kids like it’s our own,” said Isaiah. “I understand that it might not have been my daughter. It might not have been my sister but it was somebody else sister and daughter. It was somebody else niece. It was somebody else best friend. So I gotta treat her the same. I gotta feel that type of same pain for her. So yes the children, it’s always important for the kids.”

Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputies are still searching for a suspect.

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