Friends and family of slain A&M student Tynesha Stewart gathered together Saturday to remember the woman whose ex- boyfriend confessed to killing and dismembering her in his north Harris County apartment.
With no body to bury, Stewart’s family was forced to say goodbye at an emotional memorial service at Nimitz High School.
The service was overflowing with mourners of a young woman whose smile seemed to touch everyone she knew, and whose life ended far too soon.
Among the hundreds in attendance were Stewart’s family and many classmates from Nimitz, and friends and faculty from Texas A&M.
Some of the mourners took turns at the podium, remembering the 19-year-old who had just embarked on her college studies at the time of her death.
Stewart was reported missing one month ago while she was home for spring break.
Days later, police arrested her ex-boyfriend, Timothy Shepherd, and charged him with her murder. Shepherd reportedly told police that he killed Stewart at his apartment, dismembered her and burned her remains on his patio grills.
Though Saturday’s service was a chance for Stewart’s friends and loved ones to move on, many said it would not be easy.
“I still don’t believe it’s real. It feels like she’s in another country doing something else and she’ll come back sooner or later. It’s still really unbelievable to me,” Stewart’s friend, Kaneisha Hicks, said.
“I feel like it makes us and everybody else just happy to know that we can come together and celebrate her life, but it will never – I don’t think I’ll ever have that real closure because we were so close,” Kendria Smith, another friend of Stewart’s, said.
“It means a lot. It’s just shows the kind of city we live in, the kind of people we have here in Houston. There’s so many prayers, so many letters and e-mails and all this support. We just want to thank the city of Houston, though. Continue to pray for me and my family,” Sherrod Stewart, Tynesha’s brother, said.
The family also thanked Texas A&M for establishing a memorial fund in Tynesha’s name.