Family holds memorial for dead teen

Published: Jun. 29, 2011 at 12:02 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 4, 2011 at 8:29 AM CDT
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DARROW, LA (WAFB) - Family and friends came together in Darrow Tuesday night to remember Darren Smylie, Junior, or "D.J." The 19-year-old was found dead Monday inside his father's home.

Candles, balloons and flowers adorn a white cross placed in front of the home where D.J. was killed. His mother Chyvetta Broden, overcome by emotion, found comfort in the outpouring of support that relatives, friends and even strangers have shown.

"Words can't explain what we've already been through, but to see all these people in this community who love him and love us and care for us," Broden said.

D.J.'s aunt, Eva Smylie, organized the prayer service and helped build a tribute to remember her nephew. She said it also serves as a sign of faith to this neighborhood devastated by D.J.'s sudden death.

"We are a small community. First of all, this is a tragedy because we never expected anything like this," Eva Smylie said.

They found strength in each other. Even Darren Smylie, who stumbled upon the unimaginable Monday afternoon, said this expression of love makes the pain a little easier to bear.

"I'm okay now. I'm okay now, just knowing he's resting now," Darren Smylie said.

They made a promise to always remember D.J. and to never forget the little things that made him so special.

Ascension Parish Sheriff's officials said the teenager was shot to death. They have not released any information about a possible suspect or motive.

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