WASHINGTON, D.C. - The community gathered in a Southeast neighborhood on Friday night to pray for justice for three women, now declared homicide victims, more than a decade after they went missing.
D.C. Police announced on Wednesday that they identified the remains found back in April on Wayne Place in Southeast as three women who went missing in 2006.
According to police, Jewel King, 48, was last seen April 7, 2006 near Galveston Street SW. She was shot and killed and found in a shallow grave in the woods with Verdell Jefferson, 41, who was reported missing a few weeks later. Forensics experts determined she died from blunt force trauma.
Their grave was directly behind the apartment complex where Dorothy Butts, 43, was found in a crawl space by renovation crews four months ago. She disappeared from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Christmas Day in 2006. She was also shot.
Henderson Long, a missing persons advocate helped organize Friday's vigil, which included a balloon release for the three women and people missing across the DMV.
Long's family is still searching for his aunt, Allean Moore Logan, last seen in September of 1999. He says they submitted her DNA shortly after he heard that police found the remains on Wayne Place.
"We were waiting, I was waiting, just kind of bittersweet, you hope for your loved one but at the same time you kind of want closure," he said.
A close family member of Jefferson, one of the women identified on Wednesday, who asked not to be identified, said Jefferson lived on Wayne Place and had a son.
Jefferson's mother passed away a few years ago, not knowing where her child was.
"That's her baby girl," she said. "She was full of energy, definitely the life of the party, just a beautiful spirit."
D.C. Police are asking anyone with information about the murder of the three women, or any other missing persons cases, to call (202) 727-9099.