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CHS Holds Vigil for Mani and Robin Aldridge

Posted: Updated: Dec 28, 2014 09:44 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Friends and classmates of a Charlottesville High School student, who police say was murdered along with her mother, are remembering the family.

Investigators say Robin and Mani Aldridge were beaten and their Rugby Avenue home was set on fire Friday, Dec. 5. Gene Everett Washington has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the case.

Sunday night, hundreds gathered at CHS for a candlelight vigil in honor of both women. Carrying candles, community members came together to show support for each other.

Several signs around the event showed 17-year-old Mani's free spirit. Classmates, friends from Mani's dance class, and teachers talked about her unique personality. They also thanked police and firefighters for their efforts following the fire at the Aldridge family's home.

Those who knew Mani say she will be missed.

"The idea is to celebrate the free spirit that Mani was. And a way to bring closure to a really tragic event, but a way for us to heal as a community," said CHS principal Jill Dahl.

"It's hard organizing this because Mani was such a dear friend to me. I wish I didn't have to organize this, I wish she was still here with us,” Monique Brown said.

Brown adds that she thinks Mani would be happy to know how many people came out to support her and her mom.