‘Her light shall never go out’: Hundreds attend vigil for Alexis Crawford

Clark Atlanta University senior was found dead; 2 suspects charged

Hundreds gathered on the Clark Atlanta University campus Sunday night for a candlelight vigil to honor Alexis Janae Crawford, a slain 21-year-old senior.

Crawford, an Athens native, was found dead Friday, one week after her family reported her missing. Atlanta police have charged Crawford’s roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend, Jordyn Jones and Barron Brantley, with felony murder. Jones waived her first court appearance Monday morning and Brantley waived his Saturday.

But Sunday, the focus was solely on Crawford and her family, which includes nine siblings. Her younger brother also attends Clark Atlanta, University President George French said.

“You all have lifted one another up, and I know that you will continue to do that as we move toward the funeral Saturday,” French said. “Her light shall never go out.”

Crawford’s death shocked not only the Clark Atlanta community, but also made national headlines. The alleged crime seemed unthinkable, especially to the Crawford family, according to a family spokesman.

Earlier Sunday, the Rev. Markel Hutchins said Jones had previously spent holidays with the Crawford family. Jones is from Michigan, jail records show.

“They knew Jordyn, they liked Jordyn. There was never a reason to suspect that Jordyn would do anything wrong or ill to Alexis,” Hutchins said. “One family member described them as two peas in a pod. … To go from that to where we are today, it’s unthinkable, unspeakable.”

Though the investigation into Crawford’s death continued Monday, a possible motive may be related to a sexual assault Crawford reported to police on Oct. 27, according to Chief Erika Shields. Brantley was the suspect in the Oct. 26 incident, which allegedly happened at the apartment Crawford shared with Jones while the three were consuming alcohol, the report on the alleged assault states.

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Crawford’s family last spoke with her on Oct. 30. Later that night, surveillance cameras captured her at a liquor store with Jones. That is believed to be the last time Crawford was seen alive.

On Friday, Atlanta police announced that Jones and Brantley were being charged with murder. Both remained at the Fulton County jail on Monday.

Additional grief counselors were available on campus, French said. During the vigil, he reminded students and others to support one another.

“Hug someone, tell someone that you love them,” French said. “We never know when we will leave this place, when our transitions are. So we know that we have to live each day as if it might be our last.”

Crawford’s funeral will be held at noon Saturday at the Hill Chapel Baptist Church, 1692 W. Hancock Ave., Athens. The family asks that any cards or financial contributions be made directly to Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home, the metro Atlanta-based funeral home handling arrangements.

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