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Family of NoDa murder victim hopeful mural, vigil will keep her case in people's minds

Mary Collins' family is hoping to continue to shine a light on her story and a local artist has helped do just that.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — (Warning: Story contains graphic details) 

This week marks two years since a young Charlotte woman disappeared and was later found dead – murdered in a gruesome scene at a NoDa apartment complex

Mary Collins was 20 years old on March 28, 2020, when she went to hang out with some friends. But she disappeared, and her body was found a week later. She had been tortured, stabbed more than 133 times before she died.

"It's hard that it's been two years, and there’s still no form of justice or closure, not that there really can be," Collins’ aunt Kara Williams said.

Four people have been arrested in connection to the case, and all four are finally scheduled to be in court in the next few months.

RELATED: 'They tortured her and let her bleed to death' | Woman stabbed 133 times, stuffed in mattress in NoDa apartment during initial COVID lockdown

"It's this weird mix of emotions," Williams said. "We’ve been fighting for two years, and it's very scary, actually. Is there gonna be a trial? Are they gonna get life in prison like we want or are they gonna get plea deals?"

Whatever the outcome, she said her family will never be at peace.

"Even at the end of all of it, we never get Mary back," Williams shared.

Collins' family hopes a local artist's giant mural at the YMCA in NoDa, just a block from the apartment where Collins' body was found, will keep the memory of her alive. 

"We've been fighting as a family, on our own, to try to post things on social media and get her story out there, so it's so nice to have other ways for people to see Mary and hear her story and know who she is and what happened to her and who these monsters are and what they did," Williams said.

The family is also holding an online vigil this week, asking people to light a candle, take a picture and tag Mary’s Voice in it.

"So people get an idea of how many days that we were looking for Mary that we didn’t know where she was," Williams said. "That we were fighting for somebody to help us find her."

They want people to remember what a beautiful person Collins' was, to simply "know who she is," Williams said.

Contact Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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