Vigil Held For Murder Victim
by Laura Monteverdi, Reporter
January 19, 2013 9:08 PM
Despite the cold weather on Saturday night, several members of the community gathered outside a home on East 8th St to honor the life of Crescencio Conde-Vargas. Vargas was found in the home on January 7th, beaten to death by a baseball bat.
“I came to show support. I came because I live in this community. I live in Sioux Falls and I would like to have this violence end,” said Harold Christensen.
Christensen didn't know Conde-Vargas or his family personally, but he knows vigils like the one on Saturday night make a positive difference in the city he loves.
“I hope there would be a hundred people that would come to these things to rally around the community and rally around the family and show support for non-violence,” said Christensen.
While Conde-Vargas may have died inside the home, on the outside it was all about ‘Taking Back the Site,’ reclaiming it from the acts of violence that took place and restoring hope back to the community.
“It helps to bring peace back to the neighborhood so when they drive by they remember the vigil and not the violence that happened,” explained said Jean Bhatti, organizer of theevent.
While acts of violence like this one happen every day across the country, the Sioux Falls community hopes that will one day change.
“I hope that we can learn to respect life and the value of each person and to talk and to heal and to love one another," said Bhatti.
Bhatti started ‘Take Back the Site’ vigils nearly four years ago for murder victims in Sioux Falls.