Vigil for Lori Vargas draws over 100 people to grieve and honor her life

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HESPERIA, Mich. -- A fight between a couple in Grand Rapids took a deadly turn this week. Now loved ones of the victim, Lori Vargas, are trying to come to terms with their loss.

A vigil for Vargas took place Thursday evening in Hesperia.

Donald Spice is in the Kent County Jail, charged with open murder after police said he admitted to killing Lori Vargas. He is accused of putting her body in a car that was set on fire along the side of eastbound I-96 near Marne.

More than 100 people attended the vigil to grieve and show support for Vargas’ daughters. One of the daughters graduated from Hesperia High School this past May.

“I didn’t realize how much my mom impacted the community,” said Vargas’ daughter Dana. "She will be dearly missed, and I just want to thank everyone for all the messages, all the phone calls, and stopping by, and all the donations. It really means a lot."

Vargas’ two daughters, Dana and Kat, were at the vigil Thursday night, as well as some close friends.

Becky Nadjakovic just repeated, “It is out of nowhere. It is out of nowhere. It is a shock. It’s out of nowhere."

“I am sorry this happened to her, and if there were things going on that we didn’t know about, I wish we could have helped in some way," said Nadjakovic. "She’s a very strong person, and she likes to handle things on her own."

At the vigil, Vargas’ loved ones spoke to the children and families about domestic violence and urged them to get help if they ever need it.

Spice has a lengthy criminal history, including several convictions for breaking and entering. He served several years in prison most recently discharged in February of last year.

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