PORTLAND, Ore. – It would have been Yashanee Vaughn’s fifteenth birthday on Sunday; instead her family and friends gathered to remember the young murder victim.
About 30 people gathered at the base of Rocky Butte in Northeast Portland, to put out roses, balloons and cards with birthday wishes. Yashanee Vaughn’s body was found just a few hundred yards off Rocky Butte Road in July, about four months after she disappeared.
Her former boyfriend, 14-year-old Parrish Bennette, was charged with murder in her shooting death; he is being charged as an adult and the start of his trial is still months away.
Yashanee’s mother Shaquita Louis led the group from the bottom of Rocky Butte up to the place where her daughter’s body was found, buried in a shallow grave near a tunnel over the roadway.
She said her daughter would be ready to celebrate, if she were alive for her fifteenth birthday.
“Begging for me to go get all the stuff for her party, just being here and laughing and giggling with all her friends, right here with her,’ said a tearful Louis.