BANGOR, Maine — As funeral home attendants began Monday to move Nichole “CoCo” Kristine Ellen Cable’s casket up the aisle and out of Bangor Baptist Church, the slain 15-year-old’s mother jumped up from her seat.
“Wait! Wait!” Kristine Wiley called out.
The distraught mother put her arms around her daughter’s closed casket, hugged the section where the girl’s head would be, then kissed the lid as if kissing her child’s forehead one last time.
The Rev. Jerry Mick, pastor of Bangor Baptist, gently took Wiley by the shoulders and shepherded her into the arms of her husband, Jason Wiley, so the casket could be moved into the waiting hearse. Wiley composed herself, then, resting her palms on the other end of the casket, escorted it out of the church on Broadway.
Julia Wiley, the youngest of Nichole’s three sisters, who spent much of the service in her mother’s lap, was carried out of the church by a family member.
“Mama! Mama! Mama!” the 2-year-old wailed as she lost sight of her mother.
More than 300 people, many of them wearing yellow ribbons, attended the funeral for the 15-year-old teenager killed on Mother’s Day.
Photos, taken just a few years apart, flanked her lavender-colored casket, which was adorned with white tiles on which lilacs had been painted.
Family members and friends spoke of a spirited teenager with an infectious smile and, sometimes, a mischievous glint in her eyes.
“Baby girl, I love you so much,” her mother, Kristine Wiley, said at the service. “I know in my heart you will be with me always. I will miss your laughter and your smile and your sweet kisses on my cheeks. I know that you have not left us and that you never will.”
Wiley wore a black skirt and bright yellow blouse. Her daughter’s favorite color was neon yellow.
“It is very hard to speak from the heart when your heart is broken,” said Jamie Robertson, whose daughter Haleigh Robertson was Nichole’s best friend. “There were many times over the past few weeks when what was happening felt surreal. We kept hoping that we would wake up and it would not be real.
“Through all this darkness, we have to to remember the she was a gift,” he concluded. “Please remember the gift that she was.”
The yellow ribbons many wore to the service were handed out Friday at a memorial balloon launch and at a candlelight vigil Saturday.
Corey Reynolds, 17, of Bangor didn’t really know Nichole. He said after the service that he only talked to her twice and hung out with her once.
“I came to pay my respects,” he said.
Sixteen-year-old Alexis Randall lives in Glenburn and went to school with Nichole.
“I came to say goodbye,” she said after the service, her eyes still filled with tears.
Nichole disappeared from her mother’s home in Glenburn on May 12. Kristine Wiley’s heartfelt plea for the girl’s safe return touched a nerve in communities around the state. More than 500 people on May 19 took to the roadsides, woods and bogs of Glenburn in the search for clues that would explain what might have happen to the Old Town High School sophomore.
Nichole’s body was found late the next day in a wooded area of Old Town. An autopsy has been completed, but the results have not been released.
Police have charged 20-year-old Kyle J. Dube of Orono with knowing and intentional murder in connection with the girl’s death. He is being held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.
A spaghetti supper scheduled for 4:30-7 p.m. Friday at the Old Town Knights of Columbus Hall at 5 Gilman Falls Ave., will raise money for Nichole’s memorial fund. The meal will cost $5 per person and donations will be accepted, according to a Facebook post about the event. Any money not used to cover costs of the event will go to Nichole’s family. A candlelight vigil will be held in Riverfront Park immediately after the dinner.
She is survived by her mother, Kristine Wiley, stepfather Jason Wiley, father David Cable, brother David Cable Jr., sisters Annabelle Grace Wiley, Emma Jean Wiley and Julia Jane Wiley, as well as her grandparents and stepgrandparents and several aunts and uncles, according to her obituary.
At least two memorial funds have been established to benefit victims and create awareness of violent crimes, according to her obituary. Donations may be made at People’s Heritage Bank or Camden National Bank.
The burial was to be private, the Rev. Jack Dowling, of Glenburn Evangelical Covenant Church, said before the hour-long service began Monday. The name of the cemetery where Nichole was to be buried was not included in her obituary.