‘She loves hard and she loves everybody’ — Family remembers woman fatally stabbed in Durham park

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DURHAM (WNCN) – The family of a woman stabbed to death in a Durham park this week gathered Thursday to remember her as a loving mother, grandmother and therapist. The vigil came hours after police announced an arrest in her death.

Alicia Elder’s fiance, children and grandchildren gathered Thursday evening in Hillside Park, near the spot where she was fatally attacked.

“She loves hard and she loves everybody,” said Andrea Elder-Spencer, her daughter. RELATED: Arrest made in stabbing death of 50-year-old Durham woman

Elder has three grown children and seven grandchildren. Her family told CBS North Carolina that she also fostered children.

“It was from her heart. It was never a reason, it was just her character, it was her style,” Elder-Spencer said.

“She loved me and my kids just like they were her own. We got no difference. That’s the type of person she was,” Becky Elder-Donevan, Elder’s adopted daughter said.

Her family said Elder worked as a therapist, trying to help children with behavioral problems.

“She done things for them for Christmas. She bought them. She even would even buy the family food,” Warren Hester, Elder’s fiance said.

Late Thursday afternoon, police announced the arrest of Michael Person, 55, of Durham. He is charged with murder.

“She didn’t deserve to die the way she did,” Hester said.

Hester said even life in prison isn’t enough because it won’t bring her back.

Elder was stabbed about 9 p.m. Tuesday in Hillside Park, police have said. Police said the incident was not random. They wouldn’t tell us what the connection between the two was. Her family also declined to comment on that.

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