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South Windsor community remembers Jessica Edwards with vigil and memorial bench

"I just want everyone to remember Jessica as being an amazing person" her sister, Yanique Edwards said. "Kind, loving, friendly, a mother."

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. — A stone memorial bench in memory of Jessica Edwards now sits next to the playground at Nevers Park.

It was unveiled during a vigil in her honor, held during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Edwards' son Jayden was the first person to sit on the bench.

RELATED: Jessica Edwards' death caused by compression to torso and neck, ruled a homicide: medical examiner

"I'm happy that I am able to bring him here as he grows and see that bench and knows that his mother made an impact on the world," Jessica's sister, Yanique Edwards told FOX61.

Her cousin Kendra Getfield said it was a bittersweet moment.

Edwards was found dead in May, nearly two weeks after she was reported missing by family. Her husband, Tahj Hutchinson is charged with manslaughter in connection with her death.

Her loved ones said they hope the vigil serves as a way to raise awareness for domestic violence.

"Something good can come out of it because I hope other people that are dealing with domestic violence can come forward and use Jessica's story as a way to get out," Yanique added.

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Interval House and The Network of Enfield, two organizations that help victims of domestic violence, said there are sadly many more people with similar stories.

"There have been many lives lost here in the state of Connecticut," The Network executive director, Karen Foley said. "Connecticut averages about 15 intimate partner homicides a year."

The organizations want people to know that they are never alone.

"There is help out there. There are resources and we are here for you and we are here 24/7," Mary-Jane Foster, president and CEO of Interval House said. 

Edwards' story sparked an important conversation in South Windsor and beyond.

Her family also hopes it reminds people to think of her when they visit her bench.

"I just want everyone to remember Jessica as being an amazing person. Kind, loving, friendly, a mother," Yanique said.

Interval House has a 24-hour bilingual crisis hotline, (888) 774-2900. It also has a safe house, information on that can be found, here.

RELATED: Sister accepts Jessica Edwards' degree from MCC

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at gmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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