First memorial vigil held for lost loved ones of suicide, overdose


JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - An Onslow County organization brought awareness to those lost to overdose or suicide in a vigil held Monday night.

Alisa Dehaan was just one of many during the memorial vigil, holding in a touching story and memory of a lost loved one to suicide or overdose. In Dehaan's case, it was her 13-year-old cousin, Vylit. She committed suicide because of bullying.

"A group of girls came up behind her, put a rope around her neck and said 'go kill yourself'," Dehaan said.

Dehaan said on that same day, during Vylit's school bus ride home, she continued to be harassed.

"She told a couple of kids on the bus that 'I'm going to go kill myself' and she got off the bus, she went to the house and she killed herself," Dehaan said.

"It's been one of the most devastating things to ever happen to our family. It was just a single act, a long-term solution to a short-term problem that has devastated our family.

Dehaan wasn't originally goign to tell her story but felt compelled to show up to Onslow County's first memorial vigil to end Red Ribbon Week.

"It made me so proud to be a part of the community and Onslow County to see all these people after I shared my story," Dehaan said. "I had two people hug me that I don't even know, who they were but it is amazing to see someone reach out and give you a hug in that moment."