BAR HARBOR, Maine – Jasmine Wehbe never knew Mikaela Conley.
The 22-year-old Wehbe lives in Clearwater, Florida, and has summered in Bar Harbor for the last five years, but still felt obliged to attend a memorial vigil for Conley on Monday night.
“I just wanted to come and support the community,” Wehbe said during the vigil, “and I lost my mother a few months ago. I hope that people here can find peace.”
Conley, 19, was last seen on May 31. Two days later, her body was found near the downtown village in woods next to the intersection of Eden and West streets.
Accused of killing her is a former high school classmate, local resident Jalique Keene, 21, who was arrested on June 4 and is being held without bail at Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth on a charge of murder.
Vigil for Mikaela Conley on the Bar Harbor Village Green.
Posted by Bill Trotter on Monday, June 11, 2018
Police estimated that as many as 150 people attended the vigil on the town green. They stood together with lit candles, listened to songs and some left memories of Conley and best wishes to her family in a book provided by Matthew Hochman, a town council member and business owner who organized the event with fellow Bar Harbor resident Nina St. Germain.
“With how upset the community is we just felt we wanted to really have some sort of event where we could start to feel some healing,” said Hochman, “where people can get together and remember Mikaela and start the healing process.”
Despite the widespread attention that Conley’s death has received, little has been revealed publicly about the investigation into how she died and the circumstances that led up to her death. Documents related to the investigation have been impounded and police have said nothing beyond that they believe Keene is responsible.
Conley and Keene both grew up in Bar Harbor and were only a couple of years apart in school. Conley was an underclassman at Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor when Keene graduated in 2015.
On Saturday, Conley’s family held a gathering for those who knew her at their restaurant, 2 Cats on Cottage Street, to celebrate her life. Coming two days after the memorial service, the vigil was designed to give the community a chance to mourn the loss of Conley.
Although the family has asked residents not to speak about the case, Conley has been described as a bright, vivacious young woman with a promising future.
“She was somebody, who, whenever you would see her, she would have a smile,” Hochman said. “To see something like this happen to her is unfathomable.”
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