TACOMA, Wash. - Loved ones of Kassanndra Cantrell, the pregnant Pierce County woman whose body was discovered earlier this week gathered Friday onight for a candlelight vigil to remember her -- just hours after the suspect, 37-year-old Colin Dudley, was charged with her murder.
Family, friends, and complete strangers to Kassanndra gathered outside of the suspect’s Tacoma home, they place where investigators believe she spent her final moments.
Attendees had a 20 minute moment of silence to remember and honor Kassanndra. Her best friend, Alexandra McNary says she hopes Kassanndra is remembered as a person, not a headline. “Some people are firecrackers, she was a wildfire. When you read about this and hear about this, that’s who you’re hearing about…a person with a lot of dreams, she deserved to see her baby grow up, she deserved to get to get dressed up and go swing dancing. She’s a light, like a comet, anytime someone snuffs out someone like that everybody suffers, whether you knew her or not.”
The vigil ended what was a very emotional day for Kassanndra’s loved ones who faced the suspect Colin Dudley for the first time since his arrest. “We’re just here to represent Kassanndra so that he knows, she’s here, she’s watching and she’s waiting for justice,” said Kassanndra’s mother, Marie Smith.
The emotion was palpable in the courtroom as, as prosecutors explained to the judge that Dudley should be held on two million dollars bail, stating despite his lack of criminal history, he is accused of a particularly heinous crime. In addition to the “extensive planning” of the murder, prosecutors noted the effort that was put into trying to conceal evidence and Kassanndra’s body. Court documents show on August 25th, the day Kassanndra was last seen alive, Dudley went to Costco early in the morning where he purchased 50-gallon trash bags. Documents show her body was later discovered in trash bags. Detectives noted stab wounds and the medical examiner found trauma to her skull.
While Dudley is only charged with one count of first-degree murder, there is a special enhancement to that charge because Kassanndra was pregnant. Documents show she visited a doctor in mid-July where she took a positive pregnancy test. At a second doctor’s appointment, Kassanndra listed Dudley as the father of the child. While prosecutors haven’t yet discussed a motive for the murder, court documents state Dudley knew Kassanndra was pregnant, and Kassanndra’s doctor noted at a July appointment that the pregnancy was unexpected-stating her partner, Dudley, reportedly had a vasectomy. However unexpected the pregnancy may have been, Kassanndra reportedly told her doctor that Dudley was supportive, though he was not planning on being involved in raising the child.
Colin Dudley’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 21st. He’s being held on two million dollars bail. If you'd like to contribute to Kassanndra's memorial fund, the family has created this gofundme.