Friends and family members of murder victim Chantay Blankinship will gather for a candlelight vigil beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at Coggin Park in Brownwood to commemorate the second anniversary of her death.
Ron Keener, pastor of North Lake Community Church, will open the remembrance and lead out in prayer. Blankinship, who was 25 when she was murdered on May 13, 2016, attended the church, where Keener preached her funeral.
Ryan Riggs, 21, who also attended the church, was arrested last November and charged with capital murder in the slaying. Prosecutors have not determined whether they will seek the death penalty and have said the trial for Riggs won’t take place until late 2019.
Blankinship, who lived in the North Lake Brownwood community, was reported missing on May 13, 2016. Searcher’s found Blankinship’s body in an old cellar behind a dilapidated abandoned on County Road 424, about five miles from her home. The cause of death was determined to be a crushed larynx with blunt force injuries to her neck, face and torso, and she had been sexually assaulted, sheriff’s officials have said.
Keener said he expects members of the North Lake Community Church to attend the candlelight vigil. Blankenship’s mother and stepfather, Michelle and Steven McDaniel, now live in Brownwood and members of their community are also expected, Keener said. Those who attend should bring their own candles, Keener said.