(WVUE) - A community in St. James Parish gathered to show support for the family of murder victim Talaija Dorsey.
Deputies found the 12-year-old's body last weekend. Tuesday, a grand jury indicted the man who is engaged to the little girl's mother.
As the community comes together, many questions remain unanswered.
"For her to go missing, it was just heartbreaking not knowing where she was, be out there alone by herself not knowing how she was," said Keantrya Franklin, the cousin of Dorsey's mother. "Even though we have her back now, it's not the way that we wanted her back but we thank God that we did get her back. It's just devastating to know that someone who we all allowed around the family - who her mother trusted - could do this."
The man Talaija's mother was engaged to for six years and had two other children with was once considered family, Franklin said. Now he's charged with murder of a 12-year-old adored by her entire community.
"[She] was very cheerful and playful, enjoyed family friends. She was just an excitement to all of us," said Franklin.
Friends, law-enforcement and others who were apart of the search for Dorsey held hands in prayer and song, clutching balloons with messages to Dorsey before letting them lift to the sky as a show of continued community spirit and love for each other.
"My kids and her were friends and it really touched home when they found that she was missing," said Sherita Davis. "They had just spoke with her the morning before she was missing. It just touched home and my kids, my son, they can't be here because they still feel it so much and it's unbelievable"
Across the river in Vacherie, family members wear purple (Dorsey's favorite color) to a fundraiser put on by community members, many of whom never knew the 12-year-old. They gathered to raise money to help care for her siblings.
"No one deserves that, especially a 12-year-old," said Dontrell Armour, an organizer.
It was a day of renewed strength and compassion as question still burn in the families' hearts.