ORLANDO, Fla. — Candles, balloons and many broken hearts — the family of Shakeira Rucker is working hard to remember her bright spirit.
Many gathered in Pine Hills Sunday, a day after receiving the devastating news that Shakeira’s life was taken away.
The mother of four and sister went missing a week ago after she was seen grabbing dinner with her estranged husband.
She was found dead Saturday with gunshot wounds in a storage unit, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m feeling heartbroken, to hear the news of my sister’s passing and the way she was found, it’s devastating,” said Rucker’s brother Clarence Thornton. “We’re grieving this moment as it hasn’t even been 24 hours since we heard the news, but we’re here strong.”
Authorities say her husband, who is in jail for unrelated attempted murder charges, is now the prime suspect in Rucker’s case.
“Cory Hill could have stopped a lot of pain and suffering by talking to investigators from the very beginning instead of putting them through this week long nightmare,” said Orange County Sheriff John Mina. “The storage unit was registered to him. He had to know we would eventually find her in there. So it’s very, very disappointing.”
The Ruckers, while searching, were always optimistic, believing she would be home for the holidays.
While she is no longer by their side, they want Shakeira to be remembered as the great mother and sister she was.
“She was a caring person. She cared about her kids. All she wanted to do was work, go to church, and just live. You know and have fun,” said Thornton. “She just wanted to work and take care of her kids — the little things.”
In a statement released to the public, State Attorney Bain said his office, “vows to work with law enforcement and Shakeira’s family to prosecute her killer to the fullest extent of the law.”
He accompanied the Ruckers at the vigil to show support for her family.
At the vigil, he said his office has not received formal charges from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office yet.
“I’m just here to show my support for her family and make sure they have everything they need from my office,” Bain said. “We’re dealing with them first and then we’ll get to dealing with the case after.”
He added he would meet with the homicide team to see what are the next steps in the investigation but did not say when.