Candlelight vigil held to honor local woman found dead in Hawaii - KPTV - FOX 12

Candlelight vigil held to honor local woman found dead in Hawaii

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Family and friends of a local woman found dead in Hawaii held a candlelight vigil in north Portland on Thursday night in her honor.

The body of Ivanice Harris, who was known to many as Ivy Harris, was found Monday in some brush in a remote area of Oahu. Investigators haven't said yet how she died.

About 150 people gathered under the gazebo at Peninsula Park for Thursday's vigil to pray, light candles and show support for Harris' family.

"She's my other half. She was my sister," Harris' sister Ivesha told FOX 12. "She was there for me through everything, my backbone."

Harris was last seen late last week with a man she didn't know outside of a bar in Waikiki, police said. She went to Hawaii to celebrate her 29th birthday with her friend and boyfriend, family members and friends said.

"The Ivy that I know was just a good, positive young woman basically trying to keep positive for herself, you know," said Joe Bean Keller, a family friend and one of Harris' former teachers. "She was a good student in school, and she was basically on her way now to college."

Friends tossed flower leis into the ocean Thursday off the Hawaiian coastline in Harris' memory. 

Everyone who knew her at home is trying to stay positive while they wait to get answers about what happened to her, friends said. If investigators determined that Harris was killed, her family wants whoever was responsible to be brought to justice, they added.

"It hurts. It hurts bad," Harris' sister said. "It'd be easier to understand what happened to her."

Harris' family hopes to return her body to Oregon in the coming days so that she can have a proper burial, they said. They only wish she was still here so she could see just how many people loved her, a family friend said.

"She's probably up in heaven dancing right now just because how joyful she is of the people that actually loved her," said family friend Andre Miller.

Police in Hawaii told FOX 12 earlier this week that it could take several days to determine what caused Harris' death. An autopsy was performed on her body on Monday, a spokesperson for the medical examiner's office said. 

Several fundraisers are planned in the Portland area in the coming days to help Harris' family with expenses.

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