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Oakleaf neighborhood plans candlelight vigil for murder victim

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Updated: 7/29/2013 7:54 am
ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Neighbors of Lashawna Criswell-Seward are planning a candlelight vigil in her honor after police say she was murdered by her ex-husband.

The vigil will take place on Monday, July 29th, at 8:45 p.m. Criswell's neighbor and friend, Kenisha Mitchell, has passed out fliers about the gathering in the neighborhood.

Many neighbors expressed a sense of relief after learning the suspected killer, Adrian Seward, was arrested.

His three day run from the law ended after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office surrounded an Extended Stay America hotel just off of JTB on Sunday.

"It was a very scary situation. There were probably 20 cop cars, the very front entrance of the hotel was totally blocked off you couldn't leave or enter the place," said Mark Lauwereis, hotel guest.

Seward has been booked into the Clay County jail where he is facing murder charges in the death of his ex-wife. According to the Clay County Sheriff's Office, the couple's divorce was finalized on July 22, just three days before Criswell-Seward's murder.

Next-door neighbor, Lee Griffin Jr., says Criswell-Seward ran to his home for help and was murdered on his front porch. It's an image he'll never forget as he now struggles with a sense of guilt.

"If I could've gotten there sooner, I could've made a difference it's something that probably will never go away," said Griffin.

Griffin's step-daughter, Mitchell, considered Criswell-Seward family. She hopes tomorrow's vigil will help bring a sense of closure to the neighborhood.

"We want to give her something in a form of expression and let her know, and let her family know, that she's loved and she's missed and she will never be forgotten," said Mitchell.

While neighbors are relieved Adrian Seward is no longer free, some doubt the once peaceful neighborhood will ever be the same again.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office is still working to gather more information on who may have helped Seward during his run from police.


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