The Sterling community mourned the loss of their own on Saturday evening after the remains of Todd “TJ” Allen were found, and a confession surfaced.
For 19 days, hundreds of volunteers searched the woods of Eastern Connecticut for a missing 18-year-old man who told his mother that he was meeting friends while dirt biking.
Gathered in the town hall, hundreds of those volunteers mourned the loss of TJ who was found stabbed to death on Friday morning.
"When I woke up this morning, I woke to the phone ringing and as I went to get the phone, it just hit me,” said Christina Moses, TJ’s mother.
“I'll never see him again."
Allen’s body was found by police on Laiho Rd. after 19-year-old classmate Kevin Weismore confessed to stabbing Allen on December 26th after a drug deal gone bad.
For nearly three weeks, Moses said she held out hope that Allen would be found safe. She told Eyewitness News that she knew that as time passed, the outcome would not be the one she wanted.
“I knew really, he wouldn't have not come home, he loves and respects us and we love and respect him," said Moses.
One of the speakers at Allen’s vigil is Killingly pastor at St. Lutheran Church, Lisa Anderson.
At the vigil, Anderson expressed the importance of healing within the community during this time of grief.
“I think if we bury those feelings it can be very detrimental to our own health as well as the community,” said Anderson. “But if we can acknowledge them, we can stay together as a community."
Moses told Eyewitness News that she hopes her son can be remembered who he was, not how he died.
“Remember him by his beautiful creativity, his beautiful smile, his all-around beautiful personality.” Moses said.
“He was loving and caring to his friends, he's just going to be such a sad person to miss, it's just going to be so sad."
Weismore, accused of killing Allen, is being held on a one-million-dollar bond and is expected to appear in court January 17th.
For those who wish to donate to the GoFundMe established to assist Allen’s family with funeral expenses may do so, here.