Friends hold vigil for slain Norfolk mom

NORFOLk, Va. (WAVY) — Friends of a Norfolk mom gathered for a candlelight vigil in her memory Thursday night.

43-year-old Rosa Powell went missing on March 5, then police found her body 10 days later on Roberts Road, just two miles from her home. Police arrested Cortez Scott and charged him with second degree murder in Powell’s death investigation.

Powell’s friends held her vigil at Ingleside Elementary School, where she volunteered for years. People at the school say if you know Ingleside Elementary, you knew Powell.

Photos: Vigil held for Rosa Powell at Ingleside Elementary

“She would come early in the morning and stay ’til dismissal,” said teacher Monica Hilderbrand. “She would help with the book fair and just be here, a part of the building.”

WAVY/Lauren Compton
WAVY/Lauren Compton

“I can remember just dropping my son off at school and every morning my son would run to her,” said friend Tamika Smallwood. “He would give her a hug then she’d walk him into the school.”

Teachers at Ingleside Elementary say everyday Powell was there helping and nurturing kids. They decided to hold the vigil in front of the school where Powell would sit everyday.

“She meant a lot. She was very loved, and she was very sweet,” said Smallwood. “She always had a smile on her face. She always brought joy to all the kids. We all loved her.”

“It breaks my heart that we’re not going to be able to share any more moments, laughter or see her anymore,” said Smallwood. “It really hurts.”

Students from Ingleside Elementary and residents from the community attended Powell’s vigil. During the memorial, friends played Powell’s favorite song, “Take Me to the King,” and released balloons in her favorite color, and even planted a tree in front of the school in her honor.

“Now her memory can grow with the tree and watch the children grow, because she loved being here with the children,” said Hilderbrand.

“It gives me joy because I know that her memory will live on, but it breaks my heart we won’t see her anymore,” said Smallwood.

Police say Powell knew Scott, the man charged with killing her, but they will not say the nature of their relationship. 10 On Your Side is still working to find out the cause of Powell’s death.

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