MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida locals placed flowers in front of a Miami Beach hotel where a woman visiting for spring break was found dead in her hotel room after, police said, she was drugged, raped and robbed.
Although those attending Christine Engelhardt’s memorial admit they did not know her, they said her death sent shockwaves through their Miami Beach community.
“Christine is everyone’s daughter, sister, and my heart just really breaks for her family,” organizer Nick D’Annunzio said, “just hit too close to home. I mean, Miami Beach, we have blood on our hands.”
Residents gathered at the Albion Hotel, where Engelhardt’s body was found, to remember the 24-year-old on Friday.
“It’s such a heinous crime that we did not want her death to be in vain,” D’Annunzio said.
According to Miami Beach Police, Engelhardt was visiting South Florida from Pennsylvania.
The two men accused of her death have been arrested. A surveillance camera captured officers taking 21-year-old Evoire Collier into custody on Ninth Street amid a big crowd. Dorian Taylor, 24, was arrested on Sunday on Lincoln Road, but before that, police said he shopped at a liquor store using Engelhardt’s credit card.
Memorial organizers hope the 24-year-old’s death can be an example to stop the violence in Miami Beach.
“It came to this to make us all open our eyes, and I just don’t want that to happen again in our community,” D’Annunzio said.
Organizers said they spoke to Engelhardt’s mother, who said she would have wanted to attend, but she was busy planning her daughter’s funeral.
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