PAHOKEE, Fla. - The family and friends of 23-year-old Deborah Jessie gathered on the steps of 57-year-old Crystal Anderson's home, with lit candles for both women. The mourners sang gospel hymns, and prayed aloud.
Jessie, a mother of four, has been missing since last Sunday, after she filed a restraining order against her boyfriend, 29-year-old Jammy Washington. Washington has been denied bond, and remains in jail. His charge involving Jessie was upgraded during his first appearance hearing to a felony domestic battery charge. He will stay in custody until a pretrial detention hearing, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.
Anderson, Jessie's close friend and babysitter, was found dead inside her home on Monday.
Jessie's father, Larry Young, has many regrets.
"You wish this and you wish that," said Young. "You want to go back in time, but you can't, that's impossible."
After sleepless nights, and little to eat, he feels helpless.
"You don't know what to do," he explained. "You want to do a lot, but you can't do nothing."
Palm Beach County Sheriff's investigators are working to see if Jessie's disappearance and Anderson's death are connected.
Angela Burroughs, Jessie's stepdaughter, said she's accepted that she is gone, but she still begs for someone who knows something to come forward.
"All we just want is full closure, if anybody knows anything," said Burroughs.
As their family continues to wait on pins and needles for a break in the case, Jessie's father is hoping for his daughter's body, to honor her one last time.
"As long as we find my daughter, that's the key thing," said Young. "I feel in my heart that she's deceased, but at least let me… you know what I'm saying?"