‘She was the light of our lives’: Family remembering 23-year-old daughter killed last Halloween

Family remembers Carly Baron a year after she was murdered
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 7:21 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Carly Baron was tragically killed on Halloween night last year.

Halloween used to be one of Baron’s favorite holidays, but now it’s flipped upside down for her family as the hardest day of the year — the anniversary of her death.

“I replay in my mind over and over the night that it happened, in every detail, every single detail,” said Baron’s mom, Crystal Baron. “I do too,” added Baron’s father, Mark Baron. “So many people come up to us and say, ‘I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine what you’re going through,’ and you really can’t.”

“She packed a lot of life in those short 23 years,” Mark Baron said.

As Carly’s parents reflect on life without her, family and friends remember Carly through billboards around Wilmington.

Carly Baron billboard near Trader Joes on College Road and Oleander Drive.
Carly Baron billboard near Trader Joes on College Road and Oleander Drive.(WECT)

But signs along the road can only do so much — Carly’s parents remember her best.

“People have asked us, you know, ‘what are some of the words that describe her?’ and determined was one of them, for sure, fearless was another, and there’s many others but those two stand out,” Mark Baron said. “She was fearless, she didn’t let anything stop her. Once she had her mindset on something she went out and she did it,” added Crystal Baron. “She was the light of our lives. She made life fun; she was always having fun, always doing things. She loved her friends and family; she loved her modeling and she loved basketball, and she was so full of life.”

The Barons want everyone to remember Carly as the bright person she was.

“I don’t think there was ever a day where I didn’t see Carly smiling, and I constantly can hear her laughter. Her laughter and her smile is infectious, she just — she was so happy, I guess that’s what I remember most about Carly was her kindness, her laughter, her love, and zest for life and how she just embraced everyone for who they were. She loved everybody,” Crystal Baron said.

Nearly a year after the tragic day, life hasn’t gotten any easier for the Barons.

“Her and Mark, they were trying to play Tennessee Whiskey,” Crystal Baron said. “We were learning, and she was on YouTube and I was trying to sing it and play and she went live on Instagram — I can’t listen to that song anymore,” said Mark Baron.

And the unbreakable bond that her and her brother shared won’t be forgotten either. “You hear about sibling rivalries and kids not getting along, but since they were born they’ve been, I don’t wanna say inseparable, but they’ve been in love with each other. They really looked out for each other, always there for each other; it was a close bond there,” Mark Baron said. “They had a bond that was undeniable. They did a lot of things together — went to LSU games together. She supported him and his professional umpiring career, he supported her in her modeling and basketball. They were always there for one another. They truly loved each other deeply. Colin probably misses her more than anybody,” Crystal Baron added.

“Giving us the signs that she is with us, and we believe that she is with us each and every day — we feel her presence,” Crystal Baron said. “We miss her terribly.”

Carly’s birthday was on October 17th, what would have been her 24th birthday this year. Family and friends gathered at a memorial at Oleander Memorial Gardens when her parents saw a sign that Carly was still with them. “We released these huge balloons and after they all flew over the trees, there was this bird or egret that was in the marsh — it flew up to where the balloons had just passed and flew over us and circled us three times. It almost, looking down on us, you know, it’s just another sign I guess,” said Mark Baron.

Memorial for Carly Rae Baron at Oleander Memorial Gardens.
Memorial for Carly Rae Baron at Oleander Memorial Gardens.(WECT)

“Every day she’s on my mind, all day every day. I’ll never forget her and we don’t want anybody else to,” Mark Baron said.

The Alex Highsmith Foundation will be starting an annual scholarship for a student-athlete at Ashley High School soon.

Next weekend, November 5-7, there will be a basketball tournament and fashion show in her memory.

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