Vigil held for family of Troy woman found strangled, mutilated

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He's accused of a horrific crime, killing and mutilating his longtime friend.

Police say he stuffed her body in the attic of his family's home and kept it hidden for days. Jessica White was just 21 years old with an entire lifetime ahead of her.

Friends and family desperately tried to find her tonight they're still searching for answers -- and for peace.

Jessica White loved to spend time at Robinwood Park.  Her family says it was not uncommon for Jessica White to meet with friends or perhaps spend time alone here at the park off Rochester Road between Maple and Big Beaver.

But now the park provides a solemn scene for hugging, tears, candles and prayers.

"Everybody that met Jesse loved her," said Karen White, her mother.

White grieves for her daughter, standing arm in arm with her husband, Jessica's father Brad White. The strong turnout of family and friends is therapeutic and means so much.

"It does," he said. "To have the family and all the love and support we've had."

Jessica left the house in April. When she didn't return home many people started looking for her. Twelve days later on May 3, police finally found her body in the attic of a Hazel Park home.

It's the family home of the friend Jessica had been seen with. Jordan McClanahan, 23,  knew Jessica since grade school.

On Thursday McClanahan was formally charged with her murder and charged with mutilating her body.

The Oakland County Prosecutor relying on the medical examiner's report accuses McClanahan of choking and strangling Jessica with a belt, then cutting off her fingers with a bolt cutter. 

While the prayers and compassion from the vigil are helping to heal, the pain, suffering and loss is indescribable.

"Anything I needed, I can't get, which is why," Karen White said. "I'll never know why. Why her. She never hurt anybody. She was sweet minding her own business hanging out with a friend."

Another vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at the Hazel Park Viking Ice Arena on Woodward Heights.