DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Family and friends of 18-year-old Tabatha Pratt held a candle light vigil near the fishing docks of Lake Decatur.
The area is dark at night, but from a distance, one could see a small warm glow from the dozens of candles. The hugs of comfort from family and friends kept each other warm during the chilly night.
Before attendees released a collection of balloons into the sky, Jeannie John, one of Pratt's aunts, wanted to express how much her niece was cherished.
"I hope you're up there, Tabby, and you see all these people and all these candles shining bright for you," John said.
Pratt's family described her as independent. She worked two jobs, earned herself a new car and got an apartment on her own. Dana Stolte, another aunt of Pratt, said her niece never asked any favors.
"If anything, people was asking her for help," Stolte said.
The 18-year-old Decatur woman drowned Tuesday night. The Decatur Police Department said she and her car were submerged in the waters of Lake Decatur.
During this time of grief, Pratt's family hopes another family won't have to feel their level of hurt.
"I'm lost for words, honestly," Stolte said.
Their reminder to those who attended the vigil is to cherish life and remember their beloved Tabby.