Candlelight vigil held for slain Laurens Co. uncle, niece - FOX Carolina 21

Candlelight vigil held for slain Laurens Co. uncle, niece

Posted: Updated: Feb 3, 2014 09:37 PM
People gathered near the home on a dirt road off of John Grant Street. (Jan. 31, 2014/FOX Carolina) People gathered near the home on a dirt road off of John Grant Street. (Jan. 31, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Nikesha James and her uncle were found shot dead on Friday. (Source: Family) Nikesha James and her uncle were found shot dead on Friday. (Source: Family)
The coroner identified the victims as a uncle and his niece. (Jan. 31, 2014/FOX Carolina) The coroner identified the victims as a uncle and his niece. (Jan. 31, 2014/FOX Carolina)
The sheriff's office is investigating after a man and woman were found dead in Laurens Co. (Jan. 31, 2014/FOX Carolina) The sheriff's office is investigating after a man and woman were found dead in Laurens Co. (Jan. 31, 2014/FOX Carolina)
CROSS HILL, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Family and friends gathered Monday night to remember a Laurens County man and his niece, who were found shot to death in their Cross Hill home Friday.

Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain said deputies were investigating the deaths as a double homicide after a man and woman were found dead of gunshot wounds at a home on a dirt road off of John Grant Street.

Deputies said they received a call at 1:18 p.m. that someone had found the bodies inside the home.

Coroner Nick Nichols identified the victims as 47-year-old Sammie Leake and 24-year-old Nikesha James, both of 42 Havendale Drive, Cross Hill. He said they both died of gunshot wounds, but did not reveal how many times they were shot.

Nichols said Leake was James's uncle.

FOX Carolina reporter Andrew Reeser spoke with Tony Leake, father and brother of the victims, who said he doesn't think it was a random killing.

"It couldn't have been random. Somebody out there done heard them talk, done heard him when he said he was going to do what he was going to do," Leake said.

The State Law Enforcement Division and the coroner's officer are assisting in the investigation.

A candlelight vigil and prayer was held on Monday on John Grant Street in Cross Hill, not far from where the two were found dead inside the home late last week.

Dozens of people gathered on the street holding candles, praying and looking for answers.

"With law enforcement handling everything we just wanna make sure you know that God can bring something to light soon for the families and the community," Beverly Jones, cousin of the victims, told FOX Carolina reporters at the vigil.

Chastain said they have no suspect information to release at this time, and asked anyone who may have seen anything in the area of Cross Hill on Thursday night or Friday to call 864-984-4967 or Crime Stoppers.

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