Memorial held for missing Campbell County woman believed murdered

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) – Friends and family gathered Wednesday in Campbell County to remember a woman who disappeared one year ago.

Rhonda Daugherty was last seen on December 2, 2014. Though her body has never been found, former middle school teacher Lonnie Vann has been charged with her murder, along with numerous other charges.

Extended coverage: Rhonda Daugherty

Yellow ribbons outside Coolidge First Baptist Church in LaFollette are a reminder the community hopes Rhonda Daugherty will be found soon.

The Campbell County mother mysteriously vanished from the Coolidge area without a trace.

“I never thought anything like this would ever happen. Never dreamed of it. If it did, we would have made sure it didn’t happen if we had any way of knowing,” said Nancy Kitts, Daugherty’s mother.

Although Vann is charged with her murder, investigators aren’t saying how he’s specifically connected to the crime.

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“It’s not goodbye. It’ll never be goodbye for me because it’s just waiting until I get to be with her. It’s just the waiting period. She’s with me every day,” said Kitts.

Hundreds of people filed into the church for a private memorial service to remember Daugherty. Many lighting candles outside afterward to honor a woman who had a big impact on the area.

It’s the hope of friends and family they’ll get answers soon as to where Daugherty could be and what happened to her.

“It’s hard to believe that in one year how much your life can change,” said Kitts.

A status hearing is scheduled on December 16 to determine whether Vann will take a plea deal. If he doesn’t, a trial date has been set for May 2016.

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