BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Residents of a neighborhood in Wylam held a vigil today for their neighbor, Nicole Wallace. Wallace was found dead in a burned out vehicle on 5th Avenue in Wylam on October 10.
Birmingham Police took Wallace’s ex-husband, Demetrius Wilbert, into custody. Lt. Sean Edwards said the two had a history of domestic violence, but that the divorce had been finalized in September. Wilbert is the prime suspect in Wallace’s murder.
“We would’ve never thought this was going on in our neighborhood,” said Marisa Simmons, a neighbor who organized the vigil.
Wallace’s neighbors gathered at her home on Michigan Avenue with some of her family to remember Wallace and celebrate her life.
“We really wanted to do something for the kids and the family. Our hearts are just broken. We just wanted to let them know we loved her, her and the kids and we appreciated her as a neighbor.”
The community gathered for prayer, released balloons and lit candles in memory of Wallace.
“It does help but you know nothing will ever replace the pain that we feel right now. We will always remember her,” said Jacqueline Gladness, Wallace’s cousin.
Marisa Simmons said she hopes the tragedy will convince others in Wallace’s situation to get help.
“Don’t be silent. Tell somebody and get help,” said Simmons.
Simmons said she plans on making the memorial an annual event in her community.