Intense sorrow emanated from the collective voices of mourners yelling “I love you, Jackie!” as the sun set.
Those close to Vandagriff huddled under a pavilion, illuminated by candles. They were heartbroken, angry and searching for answers surrounding the grisly murder.
“It’s heartbreaking, just heartbreaking,” said Grace Bryant, a family friend with no relation to suspect Charles Bryant.
One by one, friends and family remembered a young woman, full of life, tragically taken — they said, far too young.
“She had her whole life ahead of her,” said Grace Bryant.
Investigators said it was Charles Bryant who took the 24-year-old’s life, dismembering and burning Vandagriff, leaving her body in a plastic, kiddie pool in a park.
Newly-released security video seems to show Vandagriff and Bryant walking to Denton bar Shots and Craft leading up to the night police said Bryant murdered her. When inside the bar, they appear to laugh and drink together. Later, the two appear to leave together, a claim police said Bryant initially denied.
“You always expect you know that evil people, like something like that’s going to happen to a bad, evil person,” said Jacob Frost, a friend. “But somebody like that, that’s so sweet… like Jackie, it’s just unreal.”
In a video Vandagriff posted to Youtube in June, she is seen giving a personal introduction for an online class. Vandagriff explained her career aspirations.
“Hello everyone, I’m Jacqueline Vandagriff, but my friends call me Jackie,” said Vandagriff in the video. “My major is in Nutrition with an emphasis on Wellness.”
Vandagriff’s parents thanked law enforcement Wednesday night for making an arrest and giving them a chance at healing.
Bryant remains in jail, facing a capitol murder charge. He is being held on a $1 million bond.
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