Vigil gives family of Rayna Rison strength days before court date


Days before they'll face her accused killer in court, the family of murdered Laporte teen Rayna Rison held a vigil in her honor.

Rayna's body was found in a pond months after she disappeared after leaving work in 1993.

The case went cold for two decades before police arrested her former classmate and middle school boyfriend, 38-year-old Jason Tibbs, for Rayna's murder.

"People have asked me if I'm upset or mad, am I going to scream or holler at him?" said Rayna's sister, Wendy Hakes. "He made this bed. I didn't. He has to live with what he did, we just need to find out why he did it."

Tibbs will be in court Friday, so family and friends came together for a vigil Wednesday night.

They shared songs and poems that reminded them of Rayna, and joined hands in prayer before releasing symbolic, glowing balloons into the sky.

"It''s a good feeling that we can hold this tonight and know that all these people love her," said Rayna's cousin, Jennifer McSurley.

The event was also a fundraiser for a scholarship fund in Rayna's honor. It's been handed out to a band student who exhibits leadership skills since the year she was killed.

The family is hopeful through the scholarship Rayna's legacy will live on.


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