COLON, Mich. (CBS/WWMT) Nearly 60 people huddled around the steps of the Colon Banking Center in St. Joseph County, Mich. Sunday in memory of Venus Stewart, the 32-year-old mother of two who disappeared from her parent's home April 26.
The vigil occurred just days after her estranged husband, Douglas Stewart, was arrested and charged on one count of open murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Supporters donned purple domestic violence ribbons with the words that read, "Where is Venus?" at the emotional afternoon ceremony as they lit candles and prayed in honor of Venus and her family, said CBS affiliate WWMT.
Despite numerous searches by police and neighbors, Stewart's body has not been found.
Dustin Jasper, the victim's brother, stood before the somber crowd and said, "I'm glad her home is with you, Lord. I ask that you give her a hug every day until I can see her again," reported the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Douglas Stewart is
accused of driving overnight from Virginia, where he lives, to
Michigan, luring Venus outside, abducting her, killing her, and then
disposing of her body.
According to CBS affiliate WWMT, investigators explained that they tracked down a man named Richard Spencer, who has admitted to impersonating Douglas Stewart in Virginia as an alibi for the real Stewart.
Afterwards, Douglas Stewart "traveled back to Newport News, where he met with Mr. Spencer," St. Joseph County prosecutor John McDonough told WWMT. "Mr. Spencer gave Stewart back the clothes he had used, then the men went their separate ways."
Douglas Stewart is scheduled to appear in court June 29 for a preliminary exam amongst prosecutors and his attorney. His preliminary hearing is slated for July 1st.