Candlelit vigil honoring domestic abuse victims in Collier County

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A disturbing video of a car pulling up alongside another when suddenly gunshots ring out, leaving one woman dead.

Laura Candia died at the hands of her abuser in Immokalee last month.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on Thursday night, a vigil was held to remember Candia and to bring awareness to the abuse.

Candia and 79 other names were honored during the vigil. Men and women, ranging from teenagers to others in their 60s, were all killed by their abusers. Horrifically, many cases note they were killed alongside their children.

Candles lit, illuminating tears and love through the crowd. Remembering Candia, a 20-year-old woman, daughter, sister and mother who her domestic abuser murdered.

The Shelter for Abused Women and Children held a candlelit vigil in her honor and all those who’ve lost their lives in Collier County on Thursday night.

“She’s the 80th victim of domestic violence to lose her life since we began tracking this information at the shelter,” said Linda Overhaus, the CEO of the Shelter for Abused Women and Children.

Candia’s abuser struck her and her grandmother with his car before shooting them. Candia died at the scene. However, her grandmother is a different story entirely.

“She had been shot 17 times. Her latest surgery was yesterday,” said Overhaus. “She’s just a true warrior.”

Candia was just down the road from The Shelter for Abused Women and Children when she died, a mere seven minutes away.

“It’s not my understanding that that’s where they were trying to go, but they were just so close,” said Overhaus. “If we could have just gotten her inside, you know, it sort of begs the question, might she be alive today?”

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call The Shelter for Abused Women and Children 24/7 crisis hotline at 239-775-1101.

Click here for more information about The Shelter for Abused Women and Children.

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