“Every Morning I Wake-Up, I Wish It Wasn’t True.”

'Take Back the Site' vigil stirs emotions in a community heartbroken

As that manhunt continues for Jared Stone the primary suspect in the death of Baptiste White Eyes, back in Sioux Falls, community members gathered outside the Lucky Lady Casino in memory of his death.

The ‘Take Back the Site Vigil’ was hosted by member of the peace and justice group. Close family and friends lit sage and tobacco which are two sacred plants in Native American culture.

Those who participated prayed not only for a resolution in this case, but to reclaim peace in an area no stranger to violence. They hoped to show those passing by, that violence, no matter where it happens, does not belong in Sioux Falls.

Vigil organizer, Jean Bhatti, says this has nothing to do with the differences that divide the community, but all to do with what unites us.

“The hope is to end the violence,” she said, “but we gather because we recognize the dignity and preciousness of every person.”

Bethany Drapeau knew the victim since their early childhood days – growing up together since grade school. She says she is still numb to what happened.

“Every morning I wake up I wish it wasn’t true,” she said, “I can’t believe this happened. He touched a lot of people’s hearts and even now a lot of people don’t know him they are supporting and they want to remember him, too.”

Drapeau hopes that those who knew him best will remember his sense of humor and very respectable personality.

Police are still looking for Stone. However, immediately after the vigil ended, KDLT News reported that Stone’s car was found on Interstate 90.

Those gathering prayer Wednesday evening say they are more than hopeful justice will be served.

Bhatti says she’s organized more than 18 vigils during her time in Sioux Falls, each one more difficult than the last.