Robbery Victims Remembered in Vigil


By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

UPDATED: SUNDAY MAY 18, 2014 10:40 P.M.

ALEXANDER CO. -- Funeral arrangements have been set for the second victim of the Cairo Bank Robbery.

Family and friends of 52-year-old Nita Smith will hold a visitation on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Milner & Orr Funeral Home in Wickliffe, Kentucky. Another visitation will take place on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Wickliffe. The funeral will be held at the church at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, with the burial to follow.


Anita Grace will be laid to rest on Tuesday. The visitation will take place at Crain Funeral Home in Tamms from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., with a graveside service following at the Olive Branch Cemetery.



ALEXANDER COUNTY—Friends and family mourned the women murdered in an armed robbery.

In the midst of chaos and pain, the Cairo community joined to remember two victims.

“They were innocent, valuable members of our community. they didn't deserve that,” said Pastor Jimmy Ellis.

The community honored Nita Smith of Wickliffe, Kentucky and Anita Grace from Olive Branch.

In prayer and song, they grieved two lives cut short by violence.

“I’m hurt and I’m mad somebody like that man could take somebody away from this community like that,” Travis Powers explained.

They tried  to make sense of the tragedy. Ellis said Thursday's murders took away any innocence left in Cairo.

“Our community has a bad reputation but at the core of our community; we're a very tight knit community,” he shared. 

Despite the town's reputation, he maintains they're one family, united in love. The lighting of every candle symbolized a flicker of hope.

“We're all a very caring town. When one hurt we all hurt. Right now we’re all hurting,” Donna Brann Gaines added.

“After everybody else is gone were still left with these memories we’re still left the challenge,” Ellis said.

Relatives tried to overcome the pain and feelings of hopelessness.

“Just thinking if she was scared, wishing I could've been there to help her,” Powers said

Together they let the tears flow, and held each other tight, praying for the 23-year-old who's still fighting for her life.

“I wish her a speedy recovery, just come back to us,” Gaines enthused.

Looking around the First Baptist Missionary church it's clear, these ladies won't be forgotten.

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