One Year Later: Lantern release and prayer vigil honors Jackie DeFoe and her children

Updated: March 07, 2021 10:43 PM
Created: March 07, 2021 09:00 PM

A lantern release and prayer vigil was organized Sunday for Jackie DeFoe, her son Kevin Junior and her unborn child, who were murdered in Cloquet a year ago.

DeFoe was 27-years-old and her son Kevin Junior was 18-months-old when they died.

Sheldon Thompson, who is believed to have had a relationship with DeFoe, was charged with five counts of first degree murder and is awaiting trial.

A year later, loved ones are still reeling from the ripple effect of the tragic loss.

On Sunday, they lit over two dozen lanterns in memory of Jackie, Kevin Junior and Jackie’s unborn child along Mission Road in Cloquet.

“We decided to do lanterns because they are biodegradable and I just think that lanterns are beautiful because they light up the night sky and Jackie and Kevin's smiles lit up a room when you walked into it, so it's kind of that same significance of the light that Jackie and Kevin had within them,” Jessica Gidagaakoons Smith, an organizer of the lantern release and prayer vigil said.

Gidagaakoons Smith said it has been a difficult year for everyone in the community. She believes Jackie and her children should still be alive today and hopes to see justice served.

The community is encouraged to light a candle in Jackie, Kevin Junior and her unborn child's memory.

Copyright 2021 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Duluth City Council declares climate emergency

$5,000 donation to Northland Youth Basketball

BCA identifies officer in Daunte Wright shooting

Duluth real estate agent explains current seller's market boom

Northland community protest in response to Daunte Wright's death

MDH warning of COVID-19 outbreak associated with youth wrestling tournament