Hailey Owens Remembered for Playful Spirit on her Birthday

Published 08/18 2014 10:17PM

Updated 08/18 2014 10:24PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Family and friends of Hailey Owens celebrated what would have been her 11th birthday Monday.

The Springfield girl was kidnapped and killed back in February.

Monday night, people gathered to remember her at a few locations across town.

KOLR-10 went to a remembrance hosted by the family and also stopped by the Hailey Owens Playground.

The tragedy is still very fresh in everyone's minds, but on this day they want to remember the good times.

August 18 is now a day of prayer for Skylyr Lawrence and his friends.

They're remembering former classmate Hailey Owens, who would have turned 11 years old on this day.

"I had to go to the counselor when she died because I wouldn't stop crying," Lawrence said.

Lawrence went to Westport School with Owens and often comes to the playground that bears her name.

"It helps me know that she's in Heaven she's in a good place," Lawrence said.

"It helps me remember her, yeah it helps us remember her," Hailey's Uncle Darin Barfield said.

Barfield said the pink and purple flowers in the park is a lasting tribute to his niece and her favorite colors.

"Cut flowers well they eventually die and so in this case they'll live on and that will keep her memory alive," he said.

Barfield celebrated Hailey's birthday with a party with his family at the American Legion on Monday.

"She was always smiling, she was a very happy little girl, always playful," he said.

Of course, they were surrounded by pink and purple.

"We just keep that memory going for her," Barfield said.

All across Springfield Monday one little girl was celebrated and remembered.

"I bet you that a lot of people are going to celebrate her birthday today," Lawrence said.

After dinner at the American Legion party they had a motorcycle ride by the playground at Westport Park.

There was also a lantern ceremony in her honor.

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