ROCKY POINT, NC (WECT) – For a third straight year, friends and family gathered at a small patch off Highway 133 in Pender County to remember a lost loved one. It's where the body of Tiffany Dawkins was found just days after Christmas in 2009.
There are crosses, wind chimes and trinkets to mark the location. When the cars pull up every December 27 to remember the mother of two, her friends and family bring more to the memorial. This year they brought balloons with notes attached.
Mikquel Henderson, a friend of Dawkins from high school, joined the group this year. He said it was tough catching up with everyone when he first heard the tragic news.
"I'm glad I did get in touch with everybody now," he said. "I'd like to be here every year, from here on out."
Henderson stood alongside Dawkins' mother and sister as they released the balloons bound for the sky.
"They've always welcomed me as family," Henderson said.
The newcomer to the memorial said his presence shows that anyone is welcome to remember Dawkins and spend time at the roadside memorial.
"Come out here and see her, say a few words for her," he said. "She's listening."
The man suspected of killing Dawkins was found in Florida in 2011. Before U.S. Marshals could arrest him, Dwayne Moore turned a gun on himself.
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