Friends, community come together to remember Alyssa

  • Hundreds turned out to a candle light vigil held for Alyssa Byrne at Casa Grande High School, Friday, January 4, 2013. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Kneeling amid floral bouquets and gently swaying balloons, Bridget Lyons of Petaluma carefully placed three thin white candles at the base of a growing memorial.

Sniffling, she gently positioned them below signs reading "rest in peace" and "thoughts and prayers" for Alyssa Byrne.

Alyssa Byrne vigil


"Just three candles," Lyons said. "Three to me is very important: a mother, a father, a child."

More than 400 people — Byrne's classmates, teammates, co-workers, friends, family and complete strangers — attended a candlelight memorial Friday night at Casa Grande High School for the young Petaluma woman who died in Tahoe over New Year's.

Shivering against the cold and clutching loved ones for warmth and support, many simply held candles and stood silently, perhaps remembering good times with Byrne.

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