Family, friends, and classmates of Alexis Crawford gathered this weekend to pay their final respects to the slain Clark Atlanta University student.
Crawford, 21, was laid to rest Saturday, Nov. 16, following an emotional service in her hometown of Athens, Georgia. The college senior was reported missing earlier this month, prompting frenzied pleas from her family for her safe return.
The young woman’s body was discovered in a DeKalb County park Nov. 8 after a week-long search. Her roommate, 21-year-old Jordyn Jones, and Jones’ boyfriend, Barron Brantley, have since been charged in Crawford’s murder. Recently released arrest warrants say the pair strangled the young woman before placing her remains in a plastic bin and dumping her body in the woods.
Crawford’s disappearance came just days after she filed a police report accusing Brantley of sexual assault.
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way, and it hurts,” Clark Atlanta University President George French told the crowd of several hundred attendees at Cornerstone Church, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“It hurts to the core,” French added. “But God still loves this family.”
Crawford’s casket was covered in a bed of white roses. Her weeping father, Bobby Wright, leaned against his daughter’s casket before it was closed for the final time. Per the AJC, Crawford’s parents declined to speak publicly at Saturday’s service, but siblings, elected leaders and plenty of friends took to the stage to share sweet memories of the beloved student.
The packed service was live-streamed online.
Khadijah Grier befriended Alexis, affectionately known as Lex or Lexi, when they took Advanced Placement statistics in high school but the pair had known each other since elementary school. She said they toured the Clark Atlanta campus with other students, adding that the experience felt like “we were supposed to be there.”
Grier remembered her friend as a caring person, recalling how Crawford would make sure she had something to eat before bed when she returned home late from a long night of dance team rehearsals.
Grier also said Crawford, 21, had dreams of starting her own women’s empowerment group.
At the service, Crawford’s sister shared one of the last text messages she received from her big sister.
“All of this is in God’s plan, it’ll work out for me. Praying it will,” Alexandria Crawford read. Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz and local Sheriff Ira Edwards were also among those who gave remarks. Those close to the slain woman remembered her as someone who was sweet and faithful.
“We are shocked and confused at the unfairness and senseless that took her from our community,” said Edwards.
Darnell Shelton, who served as Crawford’s college counselor in high school, said Alexis took her friendships “very seriously … And that’s what makes it so difficult to be here today.”
Authorities are still searching for a motive in the college student’s slaying.