LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – The Lake Morton neighborhood is still stunned and heartbroken after the double-murder of former Lakeland City Commissioner Edith Yates Henderson and her husband David Henderson less than a week ago.
The rain on Sunday evening did not stop more than 100 neighbors and friends from coming together to show how much the Henderson couple meant to their community.
“It’s all our tears for the week we bottled them up and just let go,” said Cindy Hoffelder, who organized the gathering on Facebook.
Through song, prayer and candle lighting, Hoffelder said the neighborhood wanted to show love for the victims’ family.
“It was an impromptu thing,” Hoffelder said. “We all wanted some way to show the family that we care.”
Under their umbrellas and holding candles, they gathered outside the couple’s home on Lake Morton Drive.
“Everybody knew they were amazing neighbors and friends,” Hoffelder said.
Lakeland police said a home intruder who entered through an unlocked door carried out the gruesome and random double murder last Tuesday.
Chief Ruben Garcia, who attended the candlelight memorial, told 8 On Your Side detectives worked through the weekend putting together more evidence in the case against 36-year-old Marcelle Waldon.
“There’s absolutely no connection between the victims and the suspect,” Garcia said.
Police said Waldon tried to set the home on fire before a witness spotted him leaving with jewelry and other items. Officers later found a stolen 2016 Audi from the home.
“There’s certainly a lot more work yet to be done for the prosecution of this case,” Garcia said.
While there’s some relief to know the person police said is responsible sits behind bars at the Polk County Jail, Hoffelder said there are still concerns “this is going to happen again.”
After a difficult few days, she hoped tonight her neighbors would be able to spread light.
“Our love is with the family and we’re here for them,” Hoffelder said.
The Lake Morton Neighborhood Association has planned a virtual meeting on Tuesday night with Lakeland police to go over safety concerns after the double murder.
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