Vigil held for young mom who vanished 7 years ago

Around the South

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – More than a dozen people came together for a candlelight vigil Tuesday in Franklin County to mark seven years since Heather Hodges was last seen by her family.

Hodges was 22-years-old when she went missing from her home in Rocky Mount, Virginia.

Her friends and family say they’ve waited long enough for answers, and are begging those in the community for any information they might have to give them closure.

“She has a daughter, she has a very small family that cares and loves for her, we just don’t have answers to anything,” said Heather’s sister, Crystal Songer. “I don’t even think I can describe it in words, to be honest. It’s just heart-wrenching.”

She and more than a dozen others holding a candlelight vigil Tuesday, at the same time four billboards in Roanoke displayed Heather’s image, which was made possible by the AWARE Foundation.

Crystal Songer insists she’s not given up hope, even though the stress is putting a strain on her mom’s health.

“No, no, no. Not by any means. Because I know we have a strong sheriff’s department standing behind us, and we have a strong community, and they’re going to get answers for us,” she said.

Mary Douthat knows how it feels.

She says her son, Christopher, will have been missing for six years this October.

She says she’s not related to Heather’s family but – in a way – she is.

“Someone out here knows something and they need to come forward. Because until they walk in our shoes, they have no idea what the heartache, the pain, and the grief is that we go through each and every day,” she said.

An investigator with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office tells WFXR the department is working diligently toward a conclusion, but that there is no new information to release at this time.

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