Woman found murdered had recently befriended suspect in custody

- A woman with a passion for helping others was remembered Monday night.

The Detroiter recently befriended a man and tragically he's now suspected of taking her life. Family and friends honored her with a tearful tribute.

A common refrain at the vigil was how much Avril Taylor went out of her way to help friends, family, even complete strangers. With that in mind, it is really hard to figure out why someone would harm her.

"You would never go down as someone who was taken advantage of," said a man at the vigil. "It was just someone with the evilness in their heart that's told to do something like this. It was not your time to go."

Candle lights, teary eyes and heavy hearts. A few dozen people met in a backyard on W. Goldengate on Detroit's eastside to remember Avril Taylor. They stood on the property where the 49-year-old union organizer was murdered. A neighbor found her body in her basement.

"She helped me out with my kids," said Lashawnda Obie, a close friend. "I almost got evicted from my apartment and she gave me (help). And she would do that for anybody."

A familiar refrain Monday night was Avril's generosity and her openhandedness.

"There is not one person out in this backyard who can't say that Avril wasn't there for them or didn't help them or didn't do one thing for them at one point in their life," said another woman at the vigil.

But  that virtue may have also been her downfall. Taylor met the man police believe killed her about a month ago. Her daughter says they were not romantically involved but added that Taylor was kind to the man.

She even invited him and his family over for New Year’s Eve -- only to be repaid, it seems, with violence.

"It really truly hurt me that she had to leave in this way," said Lisa Falls, a close friend. "I am truly hurt and I really hope he gets everything he deserves."

The gathering and heartfelt testimony from those whose lives Taylor touched, made a powerful impression on India Gardner -- Avril's daughter

"For us to not have a lot of family it means a lot because this is her family that was there for her," Gardner said. "They went out of their way for her and she did the same for them and it shows."

Police have a suspect in custody but has not yet been charged.
 

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